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Printed h R. & R. Claiik, Bdmhurtk. 


In addition to the Stories for Children with which it 
opens, the present volume contains a selection from 
various prose papers of Lamb's, printed in his lifetime, 
but not collected into book-form until long after his death. 
It was an enthusiastic lover of Charles Lamb in the 
United States to whom is due the credit of searching 
for and identifying his many outlying contributions to 
periodical literature, and this gentleman has as yet received 
scant justice from Lamb's editors in this country. 

It was in the year 1863 that the late Mr. J. E. Babson 
of Chelsea, U.S., began publishing in the pages of the 
Atlantic Monthly Magazine a series of Lamb's papers 
and essays that had remained apparently unrecognised 
in the various magazines and newspapers where they 
originally appeared. In prosecuting his researches Mr. 
Babson afterwards received the assistance of Mr. Alexander 
Ireland of Manchester, whose knowledge of the writings 
of Lamb and Lamb's intimate Mends is probably greater 
than that of any other Englishman. The series was re- 
issued by Mr. Babson at Boston in the following year, 
under the title of " Eliana, being the hitherto uncollected 
writings of Charles Lamb." The volume was at once 
reprinted in England, and, I believe, without any recog- 
nition of its origin, or the labours of Mr. Babson. During 
the twenty years that have elapsed, a few fresh pieces by 
Lamb have been identified and added to Mr. Babson's 
collection, and have appeared in various English editions. 
The shorter prose papers in the present volume are there- 


fore, for the most part, from Mr. Babson's volume, but 
in every case they have been compared with the originals 
in Leigh Hunt's Periodicals, Hone's Tablebooks, and other 
publications to which they were first contributed. 

While gratefully acknowledging my obligation to Mr. 
Babson, I have not been able to adopt his theory of the 
responsibilities of an editor. " The admirers of Elia," he 
boldly declares in the preface to his volume, " want to 
possess every scrap and fragment of his inditing. They 
cannot let oblivion have the least * notelet ' or ' essay- 
kin ' of his." I hope that I may still be reckoned among 
the admirers of Elia, though I refuse assent to this pro- 
position. The truth is, that every writer of mark leaves 
behind him shreds and remnants of stuff, some of which 
are characteristic and worthy of preservation, and some 
are otherwise; and it is, in my deliberate opinion, an 
injustice to any such writer to dilute his reputation by 
publishing every scrap of writing that he is known to 
have produced, merely because the necessity of making 
a choice may expose the editor to the risk of censure. 

I have ventured, then, to omit some half dozen prose 
pieces that have appeared in the recent editions of Lamb's 
complete works. In the first place, there axe among 
these certain fragments, which were left fragments not 
by accident, but because Lamb tired of his task or found 
he had misconceived his powers. He began a story 
called Jvke Jvdkins^ and wrote only a single chapter. 
He began turning into prose, under the title of "The 
Defeat of Time," Thomas Hood's graceful poem, the Plea 
of the Midsummer Fairies^ but left it half finished. He 
once produced a weak string of conceits on an unsavoury 
subject, called A Vision of HomSy of which he confessed 
himself, in a letter to a correspondent, thoroughly ashamed, 
and which it would have cut him to the quick to think 
might be permanently associated with his name. Again, 
most recent editions have included a letter of the poet 
Thomson's, which Lamb had discovered in a newspaper 
of the last century and published in the London Magazine, 


As the letter has long ago been included in standard 
biographies of Thomson (for instance, the one prefixed to 
the Aldine Edition of his poems) there seems to be no 
possible reason for reprmting it once more. A version 
in prose of the story of Beamnont and Fletcher's tragedy, 
GwpidJB Revenge, and a farce, called The Pawnbroker's 
Daughter, based upon one of Lamb's early essays in 
Leigh Hunt's Reflector, I have also accepted the responsi- 
bility of omitting. 

Li taking this course I have not acted merely upon 
personal preference, but on a principle that I think may 
be claimed as sound. I have not willingly excluded any 
fragment, however short, which exhibited Lamb's peculiar 
vein of humour or his unique faculty of criticism. No 
lack of these will be found in the shorter papers here 
given. I would point to the remarks on De Foe's 
Secondary Novels and on Wordsworth's Excursum; to the 
delightful autobiographical details in Captain StarJcey; 
to the comments on the acting of Miss Kelly and Dowton ; 
to the amazing parody on a certain well-known style of 
polite biography in the imaginary memoir of Liston ; to 
the rare and almost Shakspearian vein of imagination in 
the speculation on the Eeligion of Actors, with its wonder- 
ful image of Munden "making mouths at the invisible 
event ;" and lastly, to the noble tenderness of parts of the 
letter to Southey, and, above all, to the pathetic words 
upon the death of Coleridge. We should be the poorer 
in our knowledge and appreciation of Charles Lamb 
without these and other side-lights upon his mind and 

The two contributions to Grodwin's Library for Children 
which open the volume have been often reprinted since 
their first appearance early in the century. The Story of 
Ulysses was probably the first serious attempt to give 
literary form to the finest of the world's fairy tales, for 
the benefit of the young. In passing through Lamb's 
hands the classic touch must inevitably have given place 
to the romantic, and it was therefore a gain, rather than 


the reverse, that he should have chiefly used the version 
of George Chapman, whose fine Elizabethan cadence may 
everywhere be traced. Perhaps the A dvefUures of Ulysses 
may yet again one day be found among the standard 
books of the nursery. It certainly seems a pity that 
incidents, characters, and images that are pai't of the 
current coin of the world's intercourse should not become 
familiar in the years when imagination is keenest and 

I make no apology for printing Mrs, Leicester's School 
as a whole. Three of the stories composing it are by 
Charles Lamb, the others by his sister. He always 
loyally upheld the superior value of his sister's contribu- 
tion; and indeed she exhibits in them qualities of 
humour and observation quite as notable as any corre- 
sponding gift of her brother's. " It is now several days," 
wrote Walter Savage Landor to Crabb Kobinson in 1831, 
" since I read the book you reconmiended to me — Mrs, 
Leicester's School — and I feel as if I owed a debt in 
deferring to thank you for many hours of exquisite 
delight. Never have I read anything in prose so many 
times over, within so short a space of time, as Tke 
Father's Wedding -Dai/. Most people, I understand, 
prefer the first tale — ^in truth a very admirable one — ^but 
others could have written it. Show me the man or 
woman, modem or ancient, who could have written this 
one sentence — * When I was dressed in my new frock I 
wished poor mamma was alive, to see how fine I was on 
papa's wedding-day ; and I ran to my favourite station 
at her bedroom door.' How natural in a little girl is 
this incongruity — this impossibility ! Kichardson would 
have given his Clarissa and Eousseau his Heloise to 
have imagined it. A fresh source of the pathetic bursts 
out before us, and not a bitter one. If your Germans 
can show us anything comparable to what I have tran- 
scribed, I would almost undergo a year's gurgle of their 
language for it. The story is admirable throughout — 
incomparable, inimitable !" 


Of course we recognise here Landor's well-known 
accent of extravt^gant generosity, but he was not losing 
his critical balance. And there are others of Maiy 
Lamb's stories that he might have instanced with 
enthusiasm. The Young Mahometan^ delightful for its 
renewed memories of Blakesware House, abounds in 
felicities of phrase. The little girl, spending lonely 
hours in the library of the old mansion, finds a volume 
called M(jLh(ymetanism Explained, and greedily devours it. 
*^ The book said that those who believed all the wonder- 
ful stories which were related of Mahomet were called 
Mahometans and True Believers; — I concluded that I 
must be a Mahometan, for I believed every word I read." 
The child broods over her newly-discovered revelation, 
and yearns that her near relatives should awake to the 
truth. She becomes so feverish with excitement that 
her mother comes to sleep in her room. " In the middle 
of the night I could not resist the strong desire I felt to 
tell her what preyed so on my mind. I awoke her out 
of a sound sleep, and begged she would he so hind a>stohe 
a Mahometan^* This is exquisite; even more so are 
the particulars that follow of the doctor who was called 
in, to whom the case was, however, new, "he never 
having attended a little Mahometan before." The 
sagacious old doctor is not, however, baffled, but carries 
off the young lady to spend a few days with himself and 
his wife, that he may study the case at leisure. " In a 
few days he fetched me away. His wife was in the 
carriage with him. Having heard what he said about 
her prescriptions, I expected, between the doctor and his 
lady, to undergo a severe course of medicine, especially 
as I heard him very formally ask her advice what was 
good for a Mahometan fever, the moment after he had 
handed me into the carriage. She studied a little while, 
and then she said a ride to Harlow Fair would not be 
amiss. He said he was entirely of her opinion, hecaiise it 
suited him to go there to buy a horse.^^. The Mahometan 
fever, as the reader will anticipate, soon passes away. 


It is the sweet humour of Steele aad Goldsmith that 
is here manifest, and the old-fashioned formality of some 
of the writing, due to the example of Bichardson and 
his school, need be no obstacle to these stories keeping 
their place among the cherished volumes of the nursery. 
Mr& Cowden Clarke tells us how she once heard Charles 
Lamb address his sister, '<with his peculiar mood of 
tenderness beneath blunt, abrupt speech — 'You must 
die first, Mary.' She nodded with her little quiet nod 
and sweet smile: 'Yes, I must die first, Charles.'" It 
was ordered otherwise, as we know ; but in the history 
of faithful love and duty, as well as in that of English 
literature, there will be no survivorship. Should Charles 
and Mary Lamb ever die from the memories of men, it 
will be on the self-same day. 

In bringing to a conclusion this collection of Lamb's 
writings, to be followed, as I hope, by a uniform edition 
of his correspondence, I have once more to thank the 
many friends who have aided me by information and 
suggestion, and notably Mr. Alexander Ireland, who never 
wearies in the service of literary good-fellowship, and 
whose great knowledge of Lamb's contemporaries has 
been continually of advantage to me. 


ToB Castlb, Foet- William, 
August 1885. 


Mbs. Leigesteb's School 


The Sailor Uncle 


The Fannhouse 


The Changeling 


The Father's Wedding-Day . 


The Young Mahometan 


Visit to the Cousins . 


*The Witch Aunt 


The Merchant's Daughter 


*Fir8t Going to Church 


*The Sea- Voyage 


The Adventures of Ulysses 



Guy Faux 

. 180 

On the Ambiguities arising from Proper Names 


On the Custom of Hissing at the Theatres . 


The Good Clerk, A Character 


The Reynolds Gallery .... 


Wordsworth's "Excursion" . . . . 


Theatrical Notices 


• 1 


* The tales marked with an asterisk are by Charles Lamb ; 
the others by his sister Mary. 




First Fruits of Australian Poetry . 235 

The Gentle Giantess ..... 238 
On A Passage IN " The Tempest " . .242 
Letter to an old Gentleman whose Education has 

BEEN neglected ..... 246 

Biographical Memoir of Mr. Liston . . . 253 

Autobiography of Mr. Munden . . . 262 

Keflections in the Pillory .... 266 

The Last Peach . . . . .271 

The Illustrious Defunct . . .274 

The Religion of Actors .... 281 

The Months ...... 285 

Eeminiscence of Sir Jeffery Dunstan . . 290 

Captain Starkey ..... 293 

The Ass ....... 298 

In re Squirrels ...... 302 

Estimate of Defoe*s Secondary Novels . . 304 

Recollections of a Late Royal Academician . 307 

Remarkable Correspondent .... 315 

The Humble Petition of an Unfortunate Day 318 

Mrs. Gilpin riding to Edmonton 320 

Saturday Night ...... 322 

Thoughts on Presents of Game .' 325 
A Popular Fallacy, that a Deformed Person is a 

Lord ....... 328 

Charles Lamb's Autobiography 331 

Letter of Elia to Robert Southey, Esq. 333 
Table-Talk and Fragments of Criticism .348 

Elia to his Correspondents .... 361 

On the Death of Coleridge .... 365 


< • • 




Prologue TO Coleridge's "Remorse" . 

Prologue to Godwin's ** Antonio " 

Prologue to Godwin's " Faulkener " . 

Epilogue to Sheridan Knowles* "Wipe" 

To Thomas Stothard, R. A. 

To Clara N. . . . . 

To my Friend the Indicator 

Saint Crispin to Mr. Gifford . 

On Haydon's Picture op Christ's Entry into Jeru- 

SALEM • • . . . 






To Sir James Mackintosh 

The Triumph of the Whale 

The Three Graves 

Epigram written in the Last Reign . 

Lines suggested by a Sight of Waltham Cross 

"One Dip" ..... 

Satan in Search of a Wife 







My dear young Friends, — Though released from the 
business of the school, the absence of your goveraeds 
confines me to Amwell during the vacation. I cannot 
better employ my leisure hours than in contributing to 
the amusement of you, my kind pupils, who, by your 
affectionate attentions to my instructions, have rendered 
a life of labour pleasant to me. 

On your return to school I hope to have a fair copy, 
ready to present to each of you, of your own biographical 
conversations last winter. 

Accept my thanks for the approbation you were pleased 
to express when I offered to become your amanuensis. 
I hope you will find I have executed the ofl&ce with a 
tolerably faithful pen, as you know I took notes each day 
during those conversations, and arranged my materials 
after you were retired to rest. 

I begin firom the day our school commenced. It was 
opened by your governess for the first time on the 



MRS. Leicester's school. 

day of February. I pass over your several arrivals on 
the morning of that day. Your governess received you 
from your friends in her own parlour. 

Every carriage that drove from the door I knew had 
left a sad heart behind. Your eyes were red with weep- 
ing, when your governess introduced me to you as the 
teacher she had engaged to instruct you. She next desired 
me to show you into the room which we now call the 
playroom. " The ladies, " said she, " may play and amuse 
themselves, and be as happy as they please this evening, 
that they may be well acquainted with each other before 
they enter the schoolroom to-morrow morning." 

The traces of tears were on every cheek, and I also 
was sad; for I, like you, had parted from my friends, 
and the duties of my profession were new to me, yet I 
felt that it was improper to give way to my own melan- 
choly thoughts. I knew that it was my first duty to 
divert the solitary young strangers ; for I considered that 
this was very unlike the entrance to an old-established 
school, where there is always some good-natured girl who 
will show attentions to a new scholar, and take pleasure 
in initiating her into the customs and amusements of the 
place. These, thought I, havo their own amusements to 
invent ; their own customs to establish. How unlike, too, 
is this forlorn meeting to old schoolfellows returning after 
the holidays, when mutual greetings soon lighten . the 
memory of parting sorrow. 

I invited you to draw near a bright fire which blazed 
in the chimney, and looked the only cheerful thing in 
the room. 

During our first solemn silence, which, you may re- 
member, was only broken by my repeated requests that 
you would make a smaller and still smaller circle, tiU I 
saw the fireplace fairly enclosed round, the idea came 
into my mind, which has since been a source of amusement 
to you in the recollection, and to myself in particular has 
been of essential benefit, as it enabled me to form a just 
estimate of the dispositions of you, my young pupils, and 


assisted me to adopt my plan of future instructions to 
each individual temper. 

An introduction to a point we wish to cany, we always 
feel to be an awkward affair, and generally execute it in 
an awkward manner ; so I believe I did then ; for when 
I imparted this idea to you, I think I prefaced it rather 
too formally for such young auditors ; for I began with 
telling you that I had read in old authors, that, it was not 
unfrequent in former times, when strangers were assembled 
together, as we might be, for them to amuse themselves 
with telling stories — either of their own lives, or the 
adventures of others. "Will you allow me, ladies," I 
continued, " to persuade you to amuse yourselves in this 
way 1 You will not then look so unsociably upon each 
other ; for we find that these strangers, of whom we read, 
were as well acquainted before the conclusion of the first 
stoiy as if they had known each other many years. Let 
me prevail upon you to relate some little anecdotes of 
your own lives. Fictitious tales we can read in books, 
and they were therefore better adapted to conversation in 
those times when books of amusement were more scarce 
than they are at present." 

After many objections of not knowing what to say or 
how to begin, which I overcame by assuring you how 
easy it would be, for that every person is naturally 
eloquent when they are the hero or heroine of their own 
tale ; — the Who should begin ? was next in question. 

I proposed to draw lots, which formed a little amuse- 
ment of itself. Miss Manners, who till then had been the 
saddest of the sad, began to brighten, and said it was just 
like drawing king and queen ; and began to tell us where 
she passed last Twelfth-day ; but as her narration must 
have interfered with the more important business of the 
lottery, I advised her to postpone it till it came to her 
turn to favour us with the history of her life, when it 
would appear in its proper order. The first number fell 
to the share of Miss Villiers, whose joy at drawing what 
we called the first prize was tempered with shame at 


appearing as the first historian in the company. She 
wished she had not been the very first : — she had passed 
all her life in a retired village, and had nothing to relate 
of herself that could give the least entertainment; she 
had not the least idea in the world where to begin. 

" Begin," said I, "with your name, for that at present 
is unknown to us. Tell us the first thing you can 
remember; relate whatever happened to make a great 
impression on you when you were very young ; and if you 
find you can connect your story tiU your arrival here to- 
day, I am sure we shall listen to you with pleasure ; and 
if you like to break off, and only treat us with a part of 
your history, we will excuse you, with many thanks for 
the amusement which you have afforded us; and the 
young lady who has drawn the second number will, I 
hope, take her turn with the same indulgence, to relate 
either all, or any part of the events of her life, as best 
pleases her own fancy, or as she finds she can manage it 
with the most ease to herself." Encouraged by this offer 
of indulgence. Miss Villiers began. 

If in my report of her story, or in any which follow, I 
shall appear to make her or you speak an older language 
than it seems probable that you should use, speaking in 
your own words, it must be remembered that what is 
very proper and becoming when spoken, requires to be 
arranged with some little difference before it can be set 
down in writing. Little inaccuracies must be pared 
away, and the whole must assume a more formal and 
correct appearance. My own way of thinking, I am 
sensible, will too often intrude itself; but I have endea- 
voured to preserve, as exactly as I could, your own words 
and your own peculiarities of style and manner, and to 
approve myself 

Your faithful historiographer, 

as well as true friend, 

M. R 


My father is the curate of a village church about five 
miles from AmwelL I was bom in the parsonage-house, 
which joins the churchyard. The first thing I can 
remember was my father teaching me the alphabet from 
the letters on a tombstone that stood at the head of my 
mother's grave. I used to tap at my father's study door ; 
I think I now hear him say, " Who is there ? — What do 
you want, little girl f " Go and see mamma. Go and 
learn pretty letters." Many times in the day would my 
father lay aside his books and his papers to lead me to 
this spot, and make me point to the letters, and then set 
me to spell syllables and words : in this manner, the 
epitaph on my mother's tomb being my primer and my 
spelling-book, I learned to read. 

I was one day sitting on a step placed across the 
churchyard stile, when a gentleman, passing by, heard 
me distinctly repeat the letters which formed my mother's 
name, and then say Mizahetk Villiers, with a firm tone, 
aa if I had performed some great matter. This gentle- 
man was my uncle James, my mother's brother ; he was 
a lieutenant in the Navy, and had left England a few 
weeks after the marriage of my father and mother, and 
now, returned home from a long sea-voyage, he was coming 
to visit my mother — no tidings of her decease having 
reached him, though she had been dead more than a 

When my uncle saw me sitting on the stile, and heard 
me pronounce my mother's name, he looked earnestly in 
my face, and began to fancy a resemblance to his sister, 


and to think I might be her child. I was too intent on 
my employment to observe him, and went spelling on. 
" Who has taught you to spell so prettily, my little maid?" 
said my uncle. " Mamma," I replied ; for I had an idea 
that the words on the tombstone were somehow a part of 
mamma, and that she had taught me. '^And who is 
mammal" asked my uncle. "Elizabeth Villiers," I 
replied ; and then my uncle called me his dear little niece, 
and said he would go with me to mamma ; he took hold 
of my hand, intending to lead me home, delighted that 
he had found out who I was, because he imagined it 
would be such a pleasant surprise to his sister to see her 
little daughter bringing home her long-lost sailor uncle. 

I agreed to take him to mamma, but we had a dispute 
about the way thither. My uncle was for going along 
the road which led directly up to our house ; I pointed 
to the churchyard, and said that was the way to mamma. 
Though impatient of any delay, he was not willing to 
contest the point with his new relation; therefore he 
lifted me over the stile, and was then going to take me 
along the path to a gate he knew was at the end of our 
garden ; but no, I would not go that way neither ; letting 
go his hand, I said, " You do not know the way, — I will 
show you;" and making what haste I could among the 
long grass and thistles, and jumping over the low graves, 
he said, as he followed what he called my wayward steps, 
" What a positive soul this little niece of mine is ! I 
knew the way to your mother's house before you were 
born, child." At last I stopped at my mother's grave, 
and pointing to the tombstone said, "Here is mamma !" 
in a voice of exultation, as if I had now convinced him 
that I knew the way best. I looked up in his face to 
see him acknowledge his mistake ; but oh ! what a face 
of sorrow did I see ! I was so frightened, that I have 
but an imperfect recollection of what followed. I 
remember I pulled his coat, and cried "Sir, sir!" and 
tried to move him. I knew not what to do. My mind 
was in a strange confusion ; I thought I had done some- 


thing wrong in bringing the gentleman to mamma, to 
make him cry so sadly ; but what it was I could not tell. 
This grave had always been a scene of delight to me. 
In the house my father would often be weary of my 
prattle, and send me from him ; but here he was all my 
own. I might say anything, and be as frolicsome as 
I pleased here; all was cheerfulness and good -humour 
in our visits to mamma, as we called it. My father 
would tell me how quietly mamma slept there, and that 
he and his little Betsy would one day sleep beside 
mamma in that grave; and when I went to bed, as I 
laid my little head on the pillow, I used to wish I was 
sleeping in the grave with my papa and mamma ; and in 
my chUdish dreams I used to fancy myself there ; and it 
was a place within the ground, all smooth, and soft, and 
green. I never made out any figure of mamma, but still 
it was the tombstone, and papa, and the smooth green 
grass, and my head resting upon the elbow of my father. 

How long my uncle remained in this ^ny of grief I 
know not — to me it seemed a very long time ; at last he 
took me in his arms, and held me so tight that I began 
to cry, and ran home to my father and told him that a 
gentleman was crying about mamma's pretty letters. 

No doubt it was a very affecting meeting between my 
father and my uncle. I remember that it was the very 
first day I ever saw my father weep — that I was in sad 
trouble, and went into the kitchen and told Susan, our 
servant, that papa was crying ; and she wanted to keep 
me with her, that I might not disturb the conversation ; 
but I would go back to the parlour to poor papa, and I 
went in softly and crept between my father's knees. 
My imcle offered to take me in his arms, but I turned 
sullenly from him, and clung closer to my father, having 
conceived a dislike to my uncle because he had made my 
father cry. 

Now I first learned that my mother's death was a 
heavy afSiction ; for I heard my father tell a melancholy 
story of her long illness, her death, and what he had 

8 MRS. Leicester's school. 

suffered from her loss. My uncle said what a sad thing 
it was for my father to be left with such a yoimg child ; 
but my father replied, his little Betsy was all his comfort, 
and that, but for me, he should have died with grief. 
How I could be any comfort to my father, struck me 
with wonder. I knew I was'^ pleased when he played 
and talked with me ; but I thought that was all goodness 
and favour done to me, and I had no notion how I could 
make any part of his happiness. The sorrow I now 
heard he had suffered was as new and strange to me. I 
had no idea that he had ever been unhappy; his voice 
was always kind and cheerful ; I had never before seen 
him weep, or show any such signs of grief as those in 
which I used to express my little troubles. My thoughts 
on these subjects were confused and childish ; but from 
that time I never ceased pondering on the sad story of 
my dead mamma. 

The next day I went, by mere habit, to the study 
door, to call papa to the beloved grave ; my mind misgave 
me, and I could not tap at the door. I went backwards 
and forwards between the kitchen and the study, and 
what to do with myself I did not know. My uncle met 
me in the passage, and said, " Betsy, will yotl come and 
walk with me in the garden ?" This I refused, for this 
was not what I wanted, but the old amusement of sitting 
on the grave and talking to papa. My uncle tried to 
persuade me, but still I said, " No, no," and ran crying 
into the kitchen. As he followed me in there, Susan 
said, "This child is so fretful to-day, I do not know 
what to do with her." " Ay," said my uncle, " I suppose 
my poor brother spoils her, having but one." This 
reflection on my papa made me quite in a little passion 
of anger, for I had not forgot that with this new uncle 
sorrow had first come into our dwelling; I screamed 
loudly, tiU my father came out to know what it was all 
about. He sent my uncle into the parlour, and said he 
would manage the little wrangler by himself. When 
my uncle was gone I ceased crying ; my father forgot to 


lecture me for my ill-himiour, or to inquire into the cause, 
and we were soon seated by the side of the tombstone. 
No lesson went on that day ; no talking of pretty mamma 
sleeping in the green grave ; no jumping from the tomb- 
stone to the ground ; no merry jokes or pleasant stories. 
I sat upon my father's knee, looking up in his face and 
thinking, ^^ How eorry papa looks" till having been 
fatigued with crying, and now oppressed with thought, I 
fell fast asleep. 

My uncle soon learned from Susan that this place was 
our constant haunt ; she told him she did verily believe 
her master would never get the better of the death of 
her mistress while he continued to teach the child to 
read at the tombstone ; for though it might soothe his 
grief, it kept it for ever fresh in his memory. The sight 
of his sister's grave had been such a shock to my uncle, 
that he readily entered into Susan's apprehensions ; and 
concluding that if I were set to study by some other 
means, there would no longer be a pretence for these 
visits to the grave, away my kind uncle hastened to the 
nearest market-town to buy me some books. 

I heard the conference between my uncle and Susan, 
and I did not approve of his interfering in our pleasure. 
I saw him take his hat and walk out, and I secretly 
hoped he was gone bei/ond seas again, from whence 
Susan had told me he had come. Where beyond seas 
was, I could not tell ; but I concluded it was somewhere 
a great way off. I took my seat on the churchyard 
stile, and kept looking down the road, and saying, "I 
hope I shall not see my uncle again. I hope my uncle 
will not come from beyond seas any more ;" but I said 
this very softly, and had a kind of notion that I was in 
a perverse ill-humoured fit. Here I sat till my uncle 
returned from the market-town with his new purchases. 
I saw him come walking very fast, with a parcel under 
his aruL I was very sorry to see him, and I frowned 
and tried to look very cross. He untied his parcel, and 
said, "Betsy, I have brought you a pretty book." I 


turned my head away, and said, '* I don't want a book ;'' 
but I could not help peeping again to look at it. In the 
hurry of opening the parcel, he had scattered all the 
books upon the ground, and there I saw fine gilt covers 
and gay pictures all fluttering about. What a fine 
sight ! All my resentment vanished, and I held up my 
face to kiss him, that being my way of thanking my 
father for any extraordinary favour. 

My uncle had brought himself into rather a trouble- 
some office; he had heard me spell so well, that he 
thought there was nothing to do but to put books into 
my hand and I should read; yet notwithstanding I 
spelt tolerably weU, the letters in my new library were 
so much smaller than I had been accustomed to ; they 
were like Greek characters to me ; I could make nothing 
at all of them. The honest sailor was not to be dis- 
couraged by this difficulty ; though unused to play the 
schoolmaster, he taught me to read the small print with 
unwearied diligence and patience; and whenever he 
saw my father and me look as if we wanted to resume 
our visits to the grave, he would propose some pleasant 
walk; and if my father said it was too far for the 
child to walk, he would set me on his shoulder and say, 
"Then Betsy shall ride!" and in this manner has he 
carried me many, many miles. 

In these pleasant excursions my uncle seldom forgot 
to make Susan furnish him with a luncheon, which, 
though it generally happened every day, made a constant 
surprise to my papa and me, when, seated under some 
shady tree, he pulled it out of his pocket, and began to 
distribute his little store ; and then I used to peep into 
the other pocket, to see if there were not some currant 
wine there, and the little bottle of water for me ; if, 
perchance, the water was forgot, then it made another 
joke, — that poor Betsy must be forced to drink a little 
drop of wine. These are childish things to teU of; and, 
instead of my own silly history, I wish I could remember 
the entertaining stories my imcle used to relate of his 


voyages and travels, while we sat under the shady trees 
eating our noontide meal. 

The long visit my uncle made us was such an 
important event in my life, that I fear I shall tire your 
patience with talking of him ; but when he is gone, the 
remainder of my story will be but short 

The summer months passed away, but not swiftly ; — 
the pleasant walks and the charming stories of my 
uncle's adventures made them seem like years to me. 
I remember the approach of winter by the warm great- 
coat he bought for me, and how proud I was when I 
first put it on ; and that he called me Little Red Riding 
Hood, and bade me beware of wolves; and that I 
laughed, and said there were no such things now ; then 
he told me how many wolves, and bears, and tigers, and 
lions he had met with in uninhabited lands that were 
like Robinson Crusoe's island. Oh, these were happy 
days ! 

In the winter our walks were shorter and less frequent. 
My books were now my chief amusement, though my 
studies were often interrupted by a game of romps with 
my uncle, which too often ended in a quarrel, because 
he played so roughly; yet long before this I dearly 
loved my uncle, and the improvement I made while he 
was with us was very great indeed. I could now read 
very well, and the continual habit of listening to the 
conversation of my father and my uncle made me a 
little woman in understanding ; so that my father said 
to him, "James, you have made my child quite a 
companionable little being ! " 

My father often left me alone with my uncle ; some- 
times to write his sermons ; sometimes to visit the sick, 
or give counsel to his poor neighbours ; then my uncle 
used to hold long conversations with me, telling me how 
I should strive to make my father happy, and endeavour 
to improve myself when he was gone. Now I began 
justly to understand why he had taken such pains to 
keep my &ther from visiting my mother's grave, — ^that 


grave which I often stole privately to look at ; but now 
never without awe and reverence, for my uncle used to 
tell me what an excellent lady my mother was ; and I 
now thought of her as having been a real mamma, which 
before seemed an ideal something, no way connected with 
life. And he told me that the ladies from the Manor- 
house, who sat in the best pew in the church, were not 
so graceful, and the best women in the village were not 
so good, as was my sweet mamma ; and that if she had 
lived, I should not have been forced to pick up a little 
knowledge from him, a rough sailor, or to learn to knit 
and sew of Susan, but that she would have taught me 
all ladylike fine works, and delicate behaviour, and 
perfect manners, and would have selected for me proper 
books, such as were most fit to instruct my mind, and 
of which he nothing knew. If ever in my life I shall 
have any proper sense of what is excellent or becoming 
in the womanly character, I owe it to these lessons of 
my rough unpolished uncle ; for, in telling me what my 
mother would have made me, he taught me what to wish 
to be; and when, soon after my uncle left us, I yas 
introduced to the ladies at .the Manor-house, instead of 
hanging down my head with shame, as I should have 
done before my uncle came, like a little village rustic, I 
tried to speak distinctly, with ease and a modest gentle- 
ness, as my uncle had said my mother used to do ; instead 
of hanging down my head abashed, I looked upon them, 
and thought what a pretty sight a fine lady was, and 
how well my mother must have appeared, since she was 
so much more graceful than these high ladies were ; and 
when I heard them compliment my father on the admir- 
able behaviour of his child, and say how well he had 
brought me up, I thought to myself, "Papa dees not 
much mind my manners, if I am but a good girl ; but it 
was my uncle that taught me to behave like mamma." 
I cannot now think my uncle was so rough and un- 
polished as he said he was, for his lessons were so 
good and so impressive that I shall never forget them, 



and I hope they will be of use to me as long as I live. 
He would explain to me the meaning of all the words he 
used, such as grace and elegance, modest diffidence and 
affectation, pointing out instances of what he meant by 
those words, in the manners of the ladies and their 
young daughters who came to our church ; for, besides 
the ladies of the Manor-house, many of the neighbouring 
families came to our church, because my father preached 
so well. 

It must have been early in the spring when my uncle 
went away, for the crocuses were just blown in the 
garden, and the primroses had begun to peep from 
imder the young budding hedgerows. I cried as if my 
heart would break, when I had the last sight of him 
through a little opening among the trees as he went 
down the road. My father accompanied him to the 
market -town, from whence he was to proceed in the 
stage-coach to London. How tedious I thought all 
Susan's endeavours to comfort me were. The stile 
where I first saw my uncle came into my mind, and I 
thought I would go and sit there, and think about 
that day; but I was no sooner seated there, than I 
remembered how I had frightened him by taking him 
so foolishly to my mother's grave, and then again how 
naughty I had been when I sat muttering to myself at 
this same stile, wishing that he who had gone so far to 
buy me books might never come back any more ; all my 
little quarrels with my uncle came into my mind now 
that I could never play with him again, and it almost 
broke my heart. I was forced to run into the house to 
Susan for that consolation I had just before despised. 

Some days after this, as I was sitting by the fire with 
my father, after it was dark, and before the candles were 
lighted, I gave him an account of my troubled conscience 
at the church-stile, when I remembered how unkind I 
had been to my uncle when he first came, and how 
sorry I still was whenever I thought of the many 
quarrels I had had with him. 

14 Bflis. Leicester's school. 

My father smiled, and took hold of my hand, saying, 
'^ I will tell you all about this, my little penitent. This 
is the sort of way in which we all feel when those we 
love are taken from us. When our dear friends are 
with us, we go on enjoying their society, without much 
thought or consideration of the blessing we are possessed 
of, nor do we too nicely weigh the measure of our daily 
actions — we let them freely share our kind or our dis- 
contented moods; and, if any little bickerings disturb 
our friendship, it does but the more endear us to each 
other when we are in a happier temper. But these 
things come over us like grieyous faults when the object 
of our affection is gone for ever. Your dear mamma 
and I had no quarrels ; yet in the first days of my lonely 
sorrow how many things came into my mind that I 
might have done to have made her happier. It is so 
with you, my child. You did all a child could do to 
please your uncle, and dearly did he love you; and 
these little things which now disturb your tender mind, 
were remembered with delight by your uncle; he was 
telling me in our last walk, just perhaps as you were 
thinking about it with sorrow, of the difficulty he had in 
getting into your good graces when he first came; he 
will think of these things with pleasure when he is far 
away. Put away from you this unfounded grief; only 
let it be a lesson to you to be as kind as possible to 
those you love; and remember, when they are gone 
from you, you will never think you had been kind 
enough. Such feelings as you have now described are 
the lot of humanity. So you will feel when I am no 
more, and so wiU your children feel when you are dead. 
But your uncle will come back again, Betsy, and we 
will now think of where we are to get the cage to keep 
the talking parrot in, he is to bring home ; and go and 
tell Susan to bring the candles, and ask her if the nice 
cake is almost baked that she promised to give us for 
our tea." 


At this point, my dear Miss VUlierSy you thought fit 
to break off y&ur story, and the wet eyes of your young 
auditors seemed to confess that you had succeeded in 
moving tfieir feelings unth your pretty narrative. It 
now fell by lot to the turn of Miss Manners to relate her 
story, and tve were all sufficiently curious to know what 
so very young an historian had to tell of herself. I 
shall continue the narratives for the future in the wder 
in which they followed, unthout mentioning any of the 
interruptions which occurred Jrom the asking of questions, 
or from any other cause, unless materially connected mth 
the stories, I shall also leave out the apologies unth 
which you severally thotighlfit to preface your stories of 
yourselves, Plough they were very seasonable in their 
place, and proceeded from a proper diffidence, because I 
must not swell my work to too large a size. 


My name is Louisa Manners ; I was seven years of age 
last birthday, which was on the first of May. I re- 
member only four birthdays. The day I was four years 
old was the first that I recollect. On the morning of 
that day, as soon as I awoke, I crept into mamma's bed, 
and said, " Open your eyes, mamma, for it is my birth- 
day. Open your eyes and look at me !" Then mamma 
told me I should ride in a post-chaise, and see my grand- 
mamma and my sister Sarah. Grandmamma lived at a 
farmhouse in the country, and I had never in all my life 
been out of London ; no, nor had I ever seen a bit of 
green grass, except in the Drapers' Garden, which is near 
my papa's house in Broad Street ; nor had I ever rode in 
a carriage before that happy birthday. 

I ran about the house talking of where I was going, 



and rejoicing so that it waa my birthday, that when I 
got into the chaise I was tired, and fell asleep. 

When I awoke, I saw the green fields on both sides 
of the chaise, and the fields were full, quite full, of bright 
shining yellow flowers, and sheep and young lambs were 
feeding in them. I jumped, and clapped my hands 
together for joy, and I cried out, " This is 

" * Abroad in the meadows to see the young lambs,' " 

for I knew many of Watts's hymns by heart. 

The trees and hedges seemed to fly swiftly by us, and 
one field, and the sheep, and the young lambs, passed 
away ; and then another field came, and that was full of 
cows ; and then another field, and all the pretty sheep 
returned ; and there was no end of these charming sights 
till we came quite to grandmamma's house, which stood 
all alone by itself, no house to be seen at all near it. 

Grandmamma was very glad to see me, and she was 
very sorry that I did not remember her, though I had 
been so fond of her when she was in town but a few 
months before. I was quite ashamed of my bad memory. 
My sister Sarah showed me all the beautiful places about 
grandmamma's house. She first took me into the farm- 
yard, and I peeped into the barn; there I saw a man 
thrashing, and as he beat the com with his flail, he made 
such a dreadful noise that I was frightened, and ran away; 
my sister persuaded me to return ; she said Will Tasker 
was very good-natured ; then I went back, and peeped at 
him again ; but as I could not reconcile myself to the 
sound of his flail, or the sight of his black beard, we 
proceeded to see the rest of the farmyard. 

There was no end to the curiosities that Sarah had to 
show me. There was the pond where the ducks were 
swimming, and the little wooden houses where the hens 
slept at night. The hens were feeding all over the yard, 
and the prettiest little chickens, they were feeding too, 
and little yellow ducklings that had a hen for their 
mamma. She was so frightened if they went near the 


water ! Grandmamma says a hen is not esteemed a very 
wise bird. 

We went out of the farmyard into the orchard. Oh, 
what a sweet place grandmamma's orchard is ! There 
were pear-trees, and apple-trees, and cherry-trees, all in 
blossom. These blossoms were the prettiest flowers that 
ever were seen; and among the grass imder the trees 
there grew buttercups, and cowslips, and daffodils, and 
blue-bells. Sarah told me all their names, and she said 
I might pick as many of them as ever I pleased. 

I filled my lap with flowers, I filled my bosom with 
flowers, and I carried as many flowers as I could in both 
my Jiands ; but as I was going into' the parlour to show 
them to my mamma, I stumbled over a threshold which 
was placed across the parlour, and down I fell with all 
my treasure. 

Nothing could have so well pacified me for the mis- 
fortune of my fallen flowers as the sight of a delicious 
syUabub which happened at that moment to be brought 
in. Grandmamma said it was a present from the red 
cow to me because it was my birthday; and then, 
because it was the first of May, she ordered* the syllabub 
to be placed under the May-bush that grew before the 
parlour-door, and when we were seated on the grass 
round it, she helped me the very first to a large glass 
full of the syllabub, and wished me many happy returns 
of that day, and then she said I was myself the sweetest 
little May-blossom in the orchard. 

After the syllabub, there was the garden to see, and 
a most beautiful garden it was;— long and narrow, a 
straight gravel walk down the middle of it ; at the end 
of the gravel walk there was a green arbour with a bench 
under it. 

There were rows of cabbages and radishes, and pease 
and beans. I was delighted to see them, for I never saw 
so much as a cabbage growing out of the ground before. 

On one side of this charming garden there were a 
great many beehives, and the bees sung so prettily. 

18 MRS. Leicester's school. 

Mamma said, "Have you nothing to say to these 
pretty bees, Louisa V^ Then I said to them — 

" How doth the little busy bee improve each shining hour, 
And gather honey all the day from every opening flower. " 

They had a most beautiful flower-bed to gather it from, 
quite close under the hives. 

I was going to catch one bee, till Sarah told me about 
their stings, which made me afraid for a long time to go 
too near their hives ; but I went a little nearer, and a 
little nearer every day, and before I came away from 
grandmamma's, I grew so bold, I let Will Tasker hold 
me over the glass windows at the top of the hives, to see 
them make honey in their own home. 

After seeing the garden, I saw the cows milked, and 
that was the last sight I saw that day ; for while I was 
telling mamma about the cows, I fell fast asleep, and I 
suppose I was then put to bed. 

The next morning my papa and mamma were gone. 
I cried sadly, but was a little comforted at hearing they 
would return in a month or two, and fetch me home. I 
was a foolish little thing then, and did not know how 
long a month was. Grandmamma gave me a little 
basket to gather my flowers in. I went into the orchard, 
and before I had half-fiUed my basket I forgot all my 

The time I passed at my grandmamma's is always in 
my mind. Sometimes I think of the good-natured pied 
cow that would let me stroke her while the dairy-maid 
was milking her. Then I fancy myself running after 
the dairy-maid into the nice clean dairy, and see the pans 
full of milk and cream. Then I remember the wood- 
house ; it had once been a large bam, but being grown 
old, the wood was kept there. My sister and I used to 
peep about among the faggots, to And the eggs the hens 
sometimes left there. Birds' nests we might not look for. 
Grandmamma was very angry once, when Will Tasker 
brought home a bird's nest full of pretty speckled eggs 


for me. She sent him back to the hedge with it again. 
She said the little birds would not sing any more if their 
e^s were taken away from them. 

A hen, she said, was a hospitable bird, and always 
laid more eggs than she wanted, on purpose to giye her 
mistress to make puddings and custards with. 

I do not know which pleased grandmanmia best, when 
we carried her home a lapful of eggs, or a few violets ; 
for she was particularly fond of violets. 

Violets were very scarce ; we used to search very care- 
fully for them every morning round by the orchard hedge, 
and Sarah used to carry a stick in her hand to beat away 
the nettles ; for very frequently the hens left their eggs 
among the nettles. If we could find eggs and violets too, 
what happy children we were ! 

Every day I used to fill my basket with flowers, and 
for a long time I liked one pretty flower as well as another 
pretty flower ; but Sarah was much wiser than me, and 
she taught me which to prefer. 

Grandmamma's violets were certainly best of all, but 
they never went in the basket, being carried home, almost 
flower by flower, as soon as they were found, therefore 
blue-bells might be said to be the best, for the cowslips 
were all withered and gone before I learned the true 
value of flowers. The best blue-bells were those tinged 
with red ; some were so very red that we called them red 
blue-bells, and these Sarah prized very highly indeed. 
Daffodils were so very plentiful, they were not thought 
worth gathering unless they were double ones ; and butter- 
cups I found were very poor flowers indeed, yet I would 
pick one now and then, because I knew they were the 
very same flowers that had delighted me so in the journey; 
for my papa had told me they were. 

I was very careful to love best the flowers which 
Sarah praised most, yet sometimes, I confess, I have even 
picked a daisy, though I knew it was the very worst 
flower of all, because it reminded me of London, and the 
Drapers' Garden ; for, happy as I was at grandmamma's. 


I could not help sometimes thinking of my papa and 
mamma, and then I used to tell my sister all about 
London ; how the houses stood all close to each other ; 
what a pretty noise the coaches made ; and what a great 
many people there were in the streets. After we had 
been talking on these subjects, we generally used to go 
into the old wood-house and play at being in London. 
We used to set up bits of wood for houses ; our two dolls 
we called papa and mamma ; in one comer we made a 
little garden with grass and daisies, and that was to be 
the Drapers' Garden. I would not have any other flowers 
here than daisies, because no other grew among the grass 
in the real Drapers' Garden. Before the time of hay- 
making came, it was very much talked of. Sarah told 
me what a merry time it would be, for she remembered 
everything which had happened for a year or more. She 
told me how nicely we should throw the hay about. I 
was very desirous, indeed, to see the hay made. 

To be sure, nothing could be more pleasant than the 
day the orchard was mowed : the hay smelled so sweet, 
and we might toss it about as much as ever we pleased ; 
but, dear me, we often wish for things that do not prove 
so happy as we expected ; the hay, which was at first so 
green and smelled so sweet, became yellow and dry, 
and was carried away in a cart to feed the horses ; and 
then, when it was all gone, and there was no more to 
play with, I looked upon the naked ground, and per- 
ceived what we had lost in these few merry days. 
Ladies, would you believe it, every flower, blue-bells, 
daffodils, buttercups, daisies, all were cut off by the 
cruel scythe of the mower. No flower was to be seen 
at all, except here and there a short solitary daisy, that 
a week before one would not have looked at 

It was a grief, indeed, to me, to lose all my pretty 
flowers • yet when we are in great distress, there is 
always, I think, something which happens to comfort us ; 
and so it happened now that gooseberries and currants 
were almost ripe, which was certainly a very pleasant 


prospect. Some of them began to turn red, and as we 
never disobeyed grandmamma, we used often to consult 
together, if it was likely she would permit us to eat them 
yet ; then we would pick a few that looked the ripest, and 
run to ask her if she thought they were ripe enough to 
eat, and the uncertainty what her opinion would be 
made them doubly sweet if she gave us leave to eat 

When the currants and gooseberries were quite ripe, 
grandmamma had a sheep -shearing. All the sheep 
stood under the trees to be sheared. They were 
brought out of the field by old Spot, the shepherd. I 
stood sit the orchard-gate and saw him drive them aU 
in. When they had cropped off all their wool, they 
looked very clean, and white, and pretty; but, poor 
things, they ran shivering about with cold, so that it was 
a pity to see them. Great preparations were making all 
day for the sheep-shearing supper. Sarah said a sheep- 
shearing was not to be compared to a harvest -home, 
that was so much better, for that then the oven was 
quite full of plum-pudding, and the kitchen was very hot 
indeed with roasting beef; yet I can assure you there 
was no want at all of either roast-beef or plum-pudding 
at the sheep-shearing. 

My sister and I were permitted to sit up till it was 
almost dark, to see the company at supper. They sat at 
a long oak table, which was finely carved, and as bright 
as a looking-glass. 

I obtained a great deal of praise that day, because I 
replied so prettily when I was spoken to. My sister 
was more shy than me ; never having lived in London 
was the reason of that. After the happiest day bed- 
time will come ! We sat up late ; but at last grand- 
mamma sent us to bed ; yet though we went to bed, we 
heard many charming songs sung ; to be sure, we could 
not distinguish the words, which was a pity, but the 
sound of their voices was very loud, and very fine 


The common supper that we had every night was very 
cheerful Just before the men came out of the field, a 
hu*ge faggot was flung on the fire; the wood used to 
crackle and blaze, and smell delightfully ; and then the 
crickets, for they loved the fire, they used to sing ; and 
old Spot, the shepherd, who loved ^he fire as well as the 
crickets did, he used to take his place in the chinmey 
comer ; after the hottest day in summer, there old Spot 
used to sit. It was a seat within the fireplace, quite 
under the chinmey, and over his head the bacon hung. 

When old Spot was seated, the milk was hung in a 
skillet over the fire, and then the men used to come and 
sit down at the long white table. 

Pardon me, my dear Louisa, thai I interrupted you 
here. You are a little woiwan now to whai you were 
then ; and I may say to you, that thxrugh I loved to hear 
you prattle of your early recollections, I thought I per- 
ceived some ladies present were rather weary of hearing 
so much of the visit to ffrandmamma. You may re- 
member I asked you some questions concerning your papa 
and mamma, which led you to speak of your journey 
home ; hut your little townrbred head was so fvXl of the 
pleasures of a country life, that you first nuide many 
apologies that you were unable to tell what happened 
during the harvest, as unfortunately you were fetched 
home the very day before it began. 


My name you know is Withers, but as I once thought 
I was the daughter of Sir Edward and Lady Harriot 
Lesley, I shall speak of myself as Miss Lesley, and call 
Sir Edward and Lady Harriot my father and mother 
during the period I supposed them entitled to those 


beloved names. When I was a little girl, it was the 
perpetual subject of my contemplation that I was an 
heiress, and the daughter of a baronet ; that my mother 
was the Honourable Lady Harriot; that we had a 
nobler mansion, infinitely finer pleasure grounds, and 
equipages more splendid than any of the neighbouring 
families. Indeed^ my good Mends, having observed 
nothing of this error of mine in either of the lives which 
have hitherto been related, I am ashamed to confess 
what a proud child I once was. How it happened I 
cannot tell, for my father was esteemed the best bred 
man in the country, and the condescension and affability 
of my mother were universally spoken of. 

" Oh, my dear friend," said Miss , " it was very 

natural indeed, if you supposed you possessed these ad- 
vantages. We make no comparative figure in the county, 
and my father was originally a man of no consideration 
at all j and yet I can assure you, both he and mamma 
had a prodigious deal of trouble to break me off this 
infirmity when I was very young." — " And do reflect for 
a moment," said Miss Villiers, " from whence could pro- 
ceed any pride in me — a poor curate's daughter; — at 
least any pride worth speaking of; for the difficulty my 
father had to make me feel myself on an equality with a 
miller's little daughter who visited me, did not seem an 
anecdote worth relating. My father, from his profession, 
is accustomed to look into these things, and whenever 
he has observed any tendency to this fault in me, and 
has made me sensible of my error, I, who am rather a 
weak-spirited girl, have been so much distressed at his 
reproofs, that to restore me to my own good opinion 
he would make me sensible that pride is a defect 
inseparable from hmnan nature ; showing me, in our 
visits to the poorest labourers, how pride would, as he 
expressed it, * prettily peep out from under their ragged 
garbs.' My father dearly loved the poor. In persons 
of a rank superior to our own humble one, I wanted not 
much assistance from my father's nice discernment to 


know that it existed there ; and for these latter he would 
always claim that toleration from me, which he said he 
observed I was less willing to allow than to the former 
instances. * We are told in Holy Writ,' he would say, 
* that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a 
needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of 
heayen. Surely this is not meant alone to warn the 
affluent; it must also be understood as an expressive 
illustration, to instruct the lowly-fortuned man, that he 
should bear with those imperfections, inseparable from 
that dangerous prosperity from which he is happily 
exempt.' But we sadly interrupt your story." 

" You are very kind, ladies, to speak with so much 
indulgence of my foible," said Miss Withers, and was 
going to proceed, when little Louisa Manners asked, 
"Pray, are not equipages carriages?" — "Yes, Miss 
Manners, an equipage is a carriage." — " Then I am sure 
if my papa had but one equipage I should be very proud ; 
for once when my papa talked of keeping a one-horse 
chaise, I never was so proud of anything in my life ; I 
used to dream of riding in it, and imagine I saw my 
playfellows walking past me in the streets." 

" Oh, my dear Miss Manners," replied Miss Withers, 
"Your young head might well run on a thing so new to 
you; but you have preached a useful lesson to me in 
your own pretty rambling story, which I shall not easily 
forget. When you were speaking with such delight of 
the pleasure the sight of a farmyard, an orchard, and a 
narrow slip of kitchen-garden gave you, and could for 
years preserve so lively the memory of one short ride, 
and that probably through a flat uninteresting country, I 
remembered how early I learned to disregard the face of 
Nature, unless she were decked in picturesque scenery ; 
how wearisome our parks and grounds became to me, 
unless some improvements were going forward which I 
thought would attract notice ; but those days are gone ! " 
— I will now proceed in my story, and bring you 
acquainted with my real parents. 


AJas ! I am a changeling, substituted by my mother 
for the heiress of the Lesley family ; it was for my sake 
she did this naughty deed ; yet, since the truth has been 
known, it seems to me as if I had been the only sufferer 
by it; remembering no time when I was not Harriot 
Lesley, it seems as if the change had taken from me my 

Lady Harriot had intended to nurse her child herself; 
but being seized with a violent fever soon after its birth, 
she was not only unable to nurse it, but even to see it 
for several weeks. I was not quite a month old at this 
time, when my mother was hired to be Mrs. Lesley's 
nurse — she had once been a servant in the family — her 
husband was then at sea. 

She had been nursing Miss Lesley a few days, when 
a girl who had the care of me brought me into the 
nursery to see my mother. It happened that she wanted 
something from her own home, which she despatched 
the girl to fetch, and desired her to leave me till her 
return. In her absence she changed our clothes; then 
keeping me to personate the child she was nursing, she 
sent away the daughter of Sir Edward to be brought up 
in her own poor cottage. 

When my mother sent away the girl, she affirmed she 
had not the least intention of committing this bad action; 
but after she was left alone with us, she looked on me, 
and then on the little lady-babe, and she wept over me, 
to think she was obliged to leave me to the charge of a 
careless girl, debarred from my own natural food, while 
she was nursing another person's chQd. 

The laced cap and the fine cambric robe of the little 
Harriot were lying on the table ready to be put on : in 
these she dressed me, only just to see how pretty her 
own dear baby would look in missy's fine clothes. When 
she saw me thus adorned, she said to me, " Oh, my dear 
Ann, you look as like Missy as anything can be. I am 
sure my lady herself, if she were well enough to see you, 
would not know the difference." She said these words 


aloud, and while she was speaking, a wicked thought 
came into her head — how easy it would be to change 
these children ! On which she hastily dressed Harriot 
in my coarse raiment, ghe had no sooner finished the 
transformation of Miss Lesley into the poor Ann Withers, 
than the girl returned and carried her away, without the 
least suspicion that it was not the same infant that she 
had brought thither. 

It was wonderful that no one discovered that I was 
not the same child. Every fresh face that came into 
the room filled the nurse with terror. The servants still 
continued to pay their compliments to the baby in the 
same form as usual, saying, how like it is to its papa ! 
Nor did Sir Edward himself perceive the difference, his 
lady's illness probably engrossing all his attention at the 
time; though, indeed, gentlemen seldom take much notice 
of very young children. 

When Lady Harriot began to recover, and the nurse 
saw me in her arms caressed as her own child, aU fears 
of detection were over; but the pangs of remorse then 
seized her; as the dear sick lady hung with tears of 
fondness over me, she thought she should have died with 
sorrow for having so crueUy deceived her. 

When I was a year old Mrs. Withers waa discharged; 
and because she had been observed to nurse me with 
uncommon care and affection, and was seen to shed many 
tears at parting from me, to reward her fidelity, Sir 
Edward settled a small pension on her, and she was 
allowed to come every Sunday to dine in the house- 
keeper's room, and see her little lady. 

When she went home, it might have been expected 
she would have neglected the child she had so wickedly 
stolen ; instead of which she nursed it with the greatest 
tenderness, being very sorry for what she had done ; all 
the ease she could ever find for her troubled conscience, 
was in her extreme care of this ipjured child; and in 
the weekly visits to its father's house she constantly 
brought it with her. At the time I have the earliest 


recollection of her, she was become a widow, and with 
the pension Sir Edward allowed her, and some plain 
work she did for our family, she maintained herself and 
her supposed daughter. The doting fondness she showed 
for her child was much talked of; it was said she waited 
upon it more like a servant than a mother ; and it was 
observed its clothes were always made, as &r as her 
slender means would permit, in the same fashion, and 
her hair cut and curled in the same form as mine. To 
this person, as having been my faithful nurse, and to 
her cMld, I was always taught to show particular civiUty, 
and the little girl was always brought into the nursery 
to play with me. Ann was a little delicate thing, and 
remarkably well-behaved ; for though so much indulged 
in every other respect, my mother was very attentive to 
her manners. 

As the child grew older, my mother became very 
uneasy about her education. She was so very desirous 
of having her well-behaved, that she feared to send her 
to school, lest she should learn ill manners among the 
village children, with whom she never suffered her to 
play ; and she was such a poor scholar herself, that she 
could teach her little or nothing. I heard her relate 
this her distress to my own maid, with tears in her eyes, 
and I formed a resolution to beg of my parents that I 
might have Ann for a companion, and that she might be 
allowed to take lessons with me of my governess. 

My birthday was then approaching, and on that day 
I was always indulged in the privilege of asking some 
peculiar favour. 

" And what boon has my annual petitioner to beg to- 
day?" said my father, as he entered the breakfast-room 
on the morning of my birthday. Then I told him of 
the great anxiety expressed by Nurse Withers concerning 
her daughter ; how much she wished it was in her power 
to give her an education that would enable her to get 
her living without hard labour. I set the good qualities 
of Ann Withers in the best light I could, and in con- 

28 MRS. Leicester's school. 

elusion, I begged she might be permitted to partake with 
me in education, and become my companion. " This is 
a very serious request indeed, Harriot," said Sir Edward ; 
" your mother and I must consult together on the sub- 
ject" The result of this conversation was favourable to 
my wishes ; in a few weeks my foster-sister was taken 
into the house, and placed under the tuition of my 

To me, who had hitherto lived without any com- 
panions of my own age except occasional visitors, the 
idea of a playfellow constantly to associate with was 
very pleasant ; and after the first shyness of feeling her 
altered situation was over, Ann seemed as much at her 
ease as if she had always been brought up in our house. 
I became very fond of her, and took pleasure in showing 
her all manner of attentions ; which so far won on her 
affections, that she told me she had a secret intrusted to 
her by her mother, which she had promised never to 
reveal as long as her mother lived, but that she almost 
wished to confide it to me, because I was such a kind 
friend to her ; yet, having promised never to tell it till 
the death of her mother, she was afraid to tell it to me. 
At first I assured her that I would never press her to the 
disclosure, for that promises of secrecy were to be held 
sacred ; but whenever we fell into any confidential kind 
of conversation, this secret seemed always ready to come 
out. Whether she or I were most to blame, I know 
not, though I own I could not help giving fi:equent hints 
how well I could keep a secret. At length she told me 
what I have before related, namely, that she was in 
truth the daughter of Sir Edward and Lady Lesley, and 
I the child of her supposed mother. 

When I was first in possession of this wonderful 
secret, my heart burned to reveal it. I thought how 
praiseworthy it would be in me to restore to my fidend 
the rights of her birth ; yet I thought only of becoming 
her patroness, and raising her to her proper rank; it 
never occurred to me that my own degradation must 


necessarily follow. I endeavoured to persuade her to let 
me tell this important affair to my parents: this she 
positively refused. I expressed wonder that she should 
so faithfully keep this secret for an unworthy woman, 
who in her infancy had done her such an injury. 

"Oh!" said she, "you do not know how much she 
loves me, or you would not wonder that I never resent 
that. I have seen her grieve and be so very sorry on 
my account, that I would not bring her into more trouble 
for any good that could happen to myself. She has 
often told me, that since the day she changed us, she 
has never known what it is to have a happy moment ; 
and when she returned home from nursing you, finding 
me very thin and sickly, how her heart smote her for 
what she had done ; and then she nursed and fed me 
with such anxious care, that she grew much fonder 
of me than if I had been her own ;» and that on the 
Sundays, when she used to bring me here, it was more 
pleasure to her to see me in my own father's house, 
than it was to her to see you, her real child. The shy- 
ness you showed towards her while you were very young, 
and the forced civility you seemed to affect as you grew 
older, always appeared like ingratitude towards her who 
had done so much for you. My mother has desired me 
to disclose this after her death, but I do not believe I 
shall ever mention it then, for I should be sorry to bring 
any reproach even on her memory." 

In a short time after this important discovery, Ann 
was sent home to pass a few weeks with her mother, on 
the occasion of the unexpected arrival of some visitors to 
our house ; they were to bring children with them, and 
these I was to consider as my own guests. 

In the expected arrival of my young visitants, and in 
making preparations to entertain them, I had little leisure 
to deliberate on what conduct I should pursue with regard 
to my friend's secret. Something must be done, I 
thought, to make her amends for the iigury she had 
sustained, and I resolved to consider the matter atten- 


tively on her return. Still my mind ran on conferring 
favours. I never considered myself as transformed into 
the dependent person. Indeed, Sir Edward at this time 
set me about a task which occupied the whole of my 
attention ; he proposed that I should write a little inter- 
lude, after the manner of the French Petitea Pieces ; and 
to try my ingenuity, no one was to see it before the 
representation, except the performers, myself, and my 
little friends, who, as they were all younger than me, could 
not be expected to lend me much assistance. I have 
already told you what a proud girl I was. During the 
writing of this piece, the receiving of my young friends, 
and the instructing them in their several parts, I never 
felt myself of so much importance. With Ann, my pride 
had somewhat slumbered ; the difference of our rank left 
no room for competition ; all was complacency and good- 
humour on my part, and affectionate gratitude, tempered 
with respect, on hers. But here I had full room to show 
courtesy, to affect those graces, to imitate that elegance 
of manners practised by Lady Harriot to their mothera 
I was to be their instructress in action and in attitudes, 
and to receive their praises and their admiration of my 
theatrical genius. It was a new scene of triumph for me, 
and I might then be said to be in the very height of my 

If the plot of my piece, for the invention of which 
they so highly praised me, had been indeed my own, all 
would have been well ; but unhappily I borrowed from a 
source which made my drama end far differently from 
what I intended it should. In the catastrophe I lost not 
only the name I personated in the piece, but with it my 
own name also ; and all my rank and consequence in the 
world fled from me for ever. My father presented me 
with a beautifrd writing-desk for the use of my new 
authorship ; my silver standish was placed upon it ; a 
quire of gilt paper was before me. I took out a parcel 
of my best crow quills, and down I sat in the greatest 
form imaginable. 


I conjecture I have no talent for invention ; certain it 
is, that when I sat down to compose my piece, no story 
would come into my head, but the story which Ann had 
so lately related to me. Many sheets were scrawled 
over in vain, I could think of nothing else; stiU the 
babies and the nurse were before me in all the minutice 
of description Ann had given them. The costly attire of 
the lady-babe — the homely garb of the cottage-infant — 
the affecting address of the fond mother to her own 
offspring — then the charming Squivoqjie in the change of 
the children ; it all looked so dramatic ; — it was a play 
ready-made to my hands. The invalid mother would 
form the pathetic, the silly exclamations of the servants 
the ludicrous, and the nurse was nature itself. It is true, 
I had a few scruples that it might, should it come to the 
knowledge of Ann, be construed into something very like 
a breach of confidence. But she was at home, and might 
never happen to hear of the subject of my piece, and if 
she did, why, it was only making some handsome apology. 
To a dependent companion, to whom I had been so very 
great a friend, it was not necessary to be so very particular 
about such a trifle. 

Thus I reasoned as I wrote my drama, beginning with 
the title, which I called " The OhangeHng," and ending 
with these words : The curtain drops, while the lady 
clasps the hahy in her arms, and the nurse sighs audibly. 
I invented no new incident ; I simply wrote the story as 
Ann had told it to me, in the best blank verse I was able 
to compose. 

By the time it was finished, the company had arrived. 
The casting the different parts was my next care. The 

Honourable Augustus M , a young gentleman of five 

years of age, undertook to play the father. He was only 
to come in and say. How does my little darling do to- 
day ? The three Miss s were to be the servants ; 

they too had only single lines to speak. 

As these four were all very young performers, we 
made them rehearse many times over, that they might 

32 MRS. Leicester's school. 

walk in and out with proper decorum ; but the perform- 
ance was stopped before their entrances and their exits 
arrived. I complimented Lady Elizabeth, the sister of 
Augustus, who was the eldest of the young ladies, with 
the choice of the lady mother or the nurse. She fixed 
on the former ; she was to recline on a sofa, and, affect- 
ing ill health, speak some eight or ten lines, which began 
with — that I covld my precixms hahy see / To her 

cousin Miss Emily , was given the girl who had 

the care of the nurse's child ; two dolls were to personate 
the two children ; and the principal character of the nurse 
I had the pleasure to perform myself. It consisted of 
several speeches, and a very long soliloquy during the 
changing of the children's clothes. 

The elder brother of Augustus, a gentleman of fifteen 
years of age, who refused to mix in our childish drama, 
yet condescended to paint the scenes; and our dresses 
were got up by my own maid. 

When we thought ourselves quite perfect in our several 
parts, we announced it for representation. Sir Edward 
and Lady Harriot, with their visitors, the parents of my 
young troop of comedians, honoured us with their presence. 
The servants were also permitted to go into a music- 
gallery, which was at the end of a ball-room we had 
chosen for our theatre. 

Ab author and principal performer, standing before a 
noble audience, my mind was too much engaged with 
the arduous task I had undertaken, to glance my eyes 
towards the music-gallery, or I might have seen two 
more spectators there than I expected. Nurse Withers 
and her daughter Ann were there ; they had been invited 
by the housekeeper to be present at the representation 
of Miss Lesley's play. 

In the midst of the performance, as I, in the character 
of the nurse, was delivering the wrong child to the girl, 
there was an exclamation from the music-galleiy of " Oh ! 
it's all true! it's all true!" This was followed by a 
bustle among the servants, and screams as of a person in 


an hysteric fit. Sir Edward came forward to inquire what 
was the matter. He saw it waa Mrs. Withers who 
had fallen into a fit. Ann was weeping over her, and 
crying out, "0 Miss Lesley, you have told all in the 
play !" 

Mrs. Withers was brought out into the ball-room; 
there, with tears and in broken accents, with every sign 
of terror and remorse, she soon made a full confession of 
her so-long-concealed guilt. 

The strangers assembled to see our childish mimicry 
of passion were witnesses to a highly-wrought dramatic 
scene in real life. I had intended they should see the 
curtain drop without any discovery of the deceit ; unable 
to invent any new incident, I left the conclusion im- 
perfect as I found it ; but they saw a more strict poetical 
justice done ; they saw the rightftd child restored to its 
parents, and the nurse overwhelmed with shame, and 
threatened with the severest punishment. 

" Take this woman," said Sir Edward, " and lock her 
up, tiU she be delivered into the hands of justice." 

Ann, on her knees, implored mercy for her mother. 
Addressing the children, who were gathered round her, 
" Dear ladies," said she, " help me, on your knees help 
me, to beg forgiveness for my mother." Down the 
young ones all dropped — even Lady Elizabeth bent on 
her knee. " Sir Edward, pity her distress. Sir Edward, 
pardon her!" All joined in the petition, except one 
whose voice ought to have been loudest in the appeal. 
No word, no accent came from me. I hung over Lady 
Harriot's chair, weeping as if my heart would break ; 
but I wept for my own fallen fortunes, not for my 
mother's sorrow. 

I thought within myself, " If in the integrity of my 
heart, refusing to participate in this unjust secret, I had 
boldly ventured to publish the truth, I might have had 
some consolation in the praises which so generous an 
action would have merited ; but it is through the vanity 
of being supposed to have written a pretty story that I 



have meanly broken my faith with my friend, and unin- 
tentionally proclaimed the disgrace of my mother and 
myself." While thoughts like these were passing through 
my mind, Ann had obtained my mother's pardon. 
Instead of being sent away to confinement and the 
horrors of a prison, she was given by Sir Edward into 
the care of the housekeeper, who had orders from Lady 
Harriot to see her put to bed and property attended to, 
for again this wretched woman had fallen into a fit. 

Ann would have followed my mother, but Sir Edward 
brought her back, telling her that she should see her 
when she was better. He then led her towards Lady 
Harriot, desiring her to embrace her child; she did so, 
and I saw her, as I had phrased it in the play, clasped in 
her mother^s arms. 

This scene had greatly affected the spirits of Lady 
Harriot ; through the whole of it, it was with diflBculty 
she had been kept from fainting, and she was now led 
into the drawing-room by the ladies. The gentlemen 
followed, talking with Sir Edward of the astonishing 
instance of filial affection they had just seen in the 
earnest pleadings of the child for her supposed mother. 

Ann, too, went with them, and was conducted by her 
whom I had always considered as my own particular 
friend. Lady Elizabeth took hold of her hand and said, 
" Miss Lesley, will you permit me to conduct you to the 
drawing-room 1" 

I was left weeping behind the chair where Lady 
Harriot had sat, and, as I thought, quite alone. A 
something had before twitched my frock two or three 
times so slightly I had scarcely noticed it ; a little head 
now peeped roimd, and looking up in my face, said, 
" She is not Miss Lesley !" It was the young Augustus ; 
he had been sitting at my feet, but I had not observed 
him. He then started up, and taking hold of my hand 
with one of his, with the other holding fast by my 
clothes, he led, or rather dragged me, into the midst of 
the company assembled in the drawing-room. The 


vehemence of his manner, his little face as red as fire, 
caught every eye. The ladies smiled, and one gentleman 
laughed in a most unfeeling manner. His elder brother 
patted him on the head, and said, " Your are a humane 
little fellow ; Elizabeth, we might have thought of this." 

Very kind words were now spoken to me by Sir 
Edward, and he called me Harriot, precious name now 
grown to me. Lady Harriot kissed me, and said she 
would never forget how long she had loved me as her 
child. These were comfortable words; but I heard 
echoed round the room, " Poor thing, she cannot help it 
— I am sure «Ae is to be pitied. Dear Lady Harriot, 
how kind, how considerate you are !" Ah ! what a 
deep sense of my altered condition did I then feel ! 

"Let the young ladies divert themselves in another 
room," said Sir Edward; "and, Harriot, take your new 
sister with you, and help her to entertain your friends." 
Yes, he called me Harriot again, and afterwards invented 
new names for his daughter and me, and always called 
us by them, apparently in jest ; yet I knew it was only 
because he would not hurt me with hearing our names 
reversed. When Sir Edward desired us to show the 
children into another room, Ann and I walked towards 
the door. A new sense of humiliation arose — how could 
I go out at the door before Miss Lesley 1 — I stood 
irresolute; she drew back. The elder brother of my 
friend Augustus assisted me in this perplexity ; pushing 
us aU forward, as if in a playful mood, he drove us indis- 
criminately before him, saying, " I will make one among 
you to-day." He had never joined in our sports before. 

My luckless play, that sad instance of my duplicity, 
was never once mentioned to me afterwards, not even 
by any one of the children who had acted in it ; and I 
must also tell you how considerate an old lady was at 
the time about our dresses. As soon as she perceived 
things growing very serious, she hastily stripped off the 
upper garments we wore to represent our different cha- 
racters. I think I should have died with shame if the 


child had led me into the drawing-room in the mummery 
I had worn to represent a nurse. This good lady was 
of another essential service to me ; for perceiving an 
irresolution in every one how they should behave to us, 
which distressed me very much, she contrived to place 
Miss Lesley above me at table, and called her Miss 
Lesley, and me Miss Withers ; saying at the same time 
in a low voice, but as if she meant I should hear her, 
" It is better these things should be done at once, then 
they are over." My heart thanked her, for I felt the 
truth of what she said. 

My poor mother continued very ill for many weeks ; 
no medicine could remove the extreme dejection of spirits 
she laboured imder. Sir Edward sent for the clergyman 
of the parish to give her religious consolation. Every 
day he came to visit her, and he would always take Miss 
Lesley and me into the room with him. I think. Miss 
Villiers, your father must be just such another man as 
Dr. Wheelding, our worthy rector; just so I think he 
would have soothed the troubled conscience of my repent- 
ant mother. How feelingly, how kindly he used to talk 
of mercy and forgiveness ! 

My heart was softened by my own misfortunes and 
the sight of my penitent suffering mother. I felt that 
she was now my only parent ; I strove, earnestly strove 
to love het; yet ever when I looked in her face, she 
would seem to me to be the very identical person whom 
I should have once thought sufficiently honoured by a 
slight inclination of the head, and a civil " How do you 
do, Mrs. Withers?" One day, as Miss Lesley was 
hanging over her with her accustomed fondness. Dr. 
Wheelding reading in a prayer-book, and, as I thought, 
not at that moment regarding us, I threw myself on my 
knees and silently prayed that I too might be able to 
love my mother. 

Dr. Wheelding had been observing me j he took me 
into the garden, and drew from me the subject of my 


"Your prayers, my good young lady," said he, "I 
hope are heard ; sure I am they have caused me to adopt 
a resolution which, as it will enable you to see your 
mother frequently, will, I hope, greatly aasist your pious 
wishes. I wiU take your mother home with me to super- 
intend my family. Under my roof, doubtless. Sir Edward 
will often permit you to see her. Perform your duty 
towards her as well as you possibly can. Affection is 
the growth of time. With such good wishes in your 
young heart, do not despair that in due time it will 
assuredly spring up." 

With the approbation of Sir Edward and Lady Harriot, 
my mother was removed in a few days to Dr. Wheelding's 
house. There she soon recovered ; there she at present 
resides. She tells me she loves me almost as well as 
she did when I was a baby, and we both wept at parting 
when I came to school. 

Here, perhaps, I ought to conclude my story, which I 
fear has been a tedious one ; permit me, however, to say 
a few words concerning the time which elapsed since the 
discovery of my birth until my arrival here. 

It was on the fifth day of that I was known to 

be Ann Withers, and the daughter of my supposed nurse. 
The company who were witness to my disgrace departed 
in a few days, and I felt relieved from some part of the 
mortification I hourly experienced. For every fresh 
instance even of kindness or attention I experienced went 
to my heart, that I should be forced to feel thankful 
for it. 

Circumstanced as I was, surely I had nothing justly 
to complain of. The conduct of Sir Edward and Lady 
Harriot was kind in the extreme ; still preserving every 
appearance of a parental tenderness for me, but ah ! I 
might no longer call them by the dear names of father 
and mother. Formerly, when speaking of them, I used, 
proud of their titles, to delight to say, " Sir Edward or 
Lady Harriot did this, or this ;" now I would give worlds 
to say, "My father or my mother." 


I should be perfectly unkind if I were to complain of 
Miss Lesley — ^indeed, I have not the least cause of com- 
plaint against her. As my companion, her affection and 
her gratitude had been unbounded ; and now that it was 
my turn to be the humble friend, she tried by every 
means in her power to make me think she felt the same 
respectful gratitude which in her dependent station she 
had so naturally displayed. 

Only in a few rarely constituted minds does that true 
attentive kindness spring up, that delicacy of feeling, 
which enters into every trivial thing, is ever awake and 
keeping watch lest it should offend. Myself, though 
educated with the extremest care, possessed but little of 
this virtue. Virtue I call it, though among men it is 
termed politeness ; for since ^e days of my humiliating 
reverse of fortune I have learned its value. 

I feel quite ashamed to give instances of any deficiency 
I observed, or thought I have observed, in Miss Lesley. 
Now I am away from her, and dispassionately speaking 
of it, it seems as if my own soreness of temper had made 
me fancy things. I really believe now that I was mistaken ; 
but Miss Lesley had been so highly praised for her filial 
tenderness, I thought at last she seemed to make a parade 
about it, and used to run up to my mother, and affect to 
be more glad to see her than she really was after a time ; 
and I think Dr. Wheelding thought so by a little hint 
he once dropped. But he, too, might be mistaken, for 
he was very partial to me. 

I am under the greatest obligation in the world to 
this good Dr. Wheelding. He has made my mother 
quite a respectable woman, and I am sure it is owing 
a great deal to him that she loves me so well as she does. 

And here, though it may seem a little out of place, 
let me stop to assure you, that if I ever could have had 
any doubt of the sincerity of Miss Lesley's affection 
towards me, her behaviour on the occasion of my coming 
here ought completely to efface it. She entreated with 
many tears, and almost the same energy with which she 


pleaded for forgiveness for my mother, that I might not 
be sent away. But she was not alike successful in her 

Miss Lesley had made some progress in reading and 
writing during the time she was my companion only; 
it was highly necessary that every exertion should be 
now made — the whole house was, as I may say, in 
requisition for her instruction ; Sir Edward and Lady 
Harriot devoted great part of the day to this purpose. 
A well-educated young person was taken under our 
governess to assist her in her labours, and to teach Miss 
Lesley music. A drawing-master was engaged to reside 
in the house. 

At this time I was not remarkably forward in my 
education. My governess being a native of France, I 
spoke French very correctly, and I had made some pro- 
gress in Italian ; but I had had the instruction of masters 
only during the few months in the year we usually passed 
in London. 

Music I never had the least ear for ; I could scarcely 
be taught my notes. This defect in me was always par- 
ticularly regretted by my mother, she being an excellent 
performer herself, both on the piano and on the harp. 
I think I have some taste for drawing; but as Lady 
Harriot did not particularly excel in this, I lost so much 
time in the summer months, practising only under my 
governess, that I made no great proficiency even in 
this my favourite art. But Miss Lesley, with all these 
advantages which I have named, — everybody so eager to 
instruct her, she so willing to learn — everything so new 
and delightful to her, how could it happen otherwise? 
she in a short time became a little prodigy. What best 
pleased Lady Harriot was, after she had conquered the 
first difficulties, she discovered a wonderful talent for 
music Here she was her mother's own girl indeed — she 
had the same sweet-toned voice — the same delicate finger. 
Her musical governess had little now to do ; for as soon 
as Lady Harriot perceived this excellence in her, she 


gave up all company and devoted her whole time to 
instructing her daughter in this science. 

Nothing makes the heart ache with such a hopeless, 
heavy pain, as envy. 

I had felt deeply before, but tiU now I could not be 
said to envy Miss Lesley. All day long the notes of the 
harp or the piano spoke sad sounds to me of the loss of a 
loved mother's heart. 

To have in a manner two mothers, and Miss Lesley 
to engross them both, was too much indeed. 

It was at this time that one day I had been wearied 
with hearing Lady Harriot play one long piece of Haydn's 
music after another to her enraptured daughter. We 
were to walk with our governess to Dr. Wheelding's that 
morning ; and after Lady Harriot had left the room, and 
we were quite ready for our walk, Miss Lesley would not 
leave the instrument for I know not how long. 

It was on that day that I thought she was not quite 
honest in her expressions of joy at the sight of my poor 
mother, who had been waiting at the garden-gate near 
two hours to see her arrive ; yet she might be, for the 
music had put her in remarkably good spirits that 

Oh, the music quite, quite won Lady Harriot's heart ! 
Till Miss Lesley began to play so well, she often lamented 
the time it would take before her daughter would have 
the air of a person of fashion's child. It was my part 
of the general instruction to give her lessons on this head. 
We used to make a kind of play of it, which we called 
lectures on fashionable manners : it was a pleasant amuse- 
ment to me, a sort of keeping up the memory of past 
times. But now the music was always in the way. The 
last time it was talked of. Lady Harriot said her daughter's 
time was too precious to be taken up with such trifling. 

I must own that the music had that effect on Miss 
Lesley, as to render these lectures less necessary, which 
I will explain to you ; but first let me assure you that 
Lady Harriot was by no means in the habit of saying 


things of this kind. It was ahnost a solitaiy instance ; 
I could give you a thousand instances the very reverse 
of this, in her as well as in Sir Edward. How kindly, 
how frequently, would they remind me, that to me alone 
it was owing that they ever knew their child ! calling 
the day on which I was a petitioner for the admittance 
of Ann into the house, the blessed birthday of their 
generous girl. 

!N'either dancing, nor any foolish lectures, could do 
much for Miss Lesley; she remamed for some time 
wanting in gracefulness of carriage; but all that is 
usually attributed to dancing, music finally effected. 
When she was sitting before the instrument, a resem- 
blance to her mother became apparent to every eye. 
Her attitudes and the expression of her countenance were 
the very same. This soon followed her into everything ; 
all was ease and natural grace ; for the music, and with 
it the idea of Lady Harriot, was always in her thoughts. 
It" was a pretty sight to see the daily improvement in her 
person, even to me, poor envious girl that I was. 

Soon after Lady Harriot had hurt me by calling my 
little efforts to improve her daughter trifling, she made 
me large amends in a very kind and most unreserved 
conversation that she held with me. 

She told me all the struggles she had had at first to 
feel a maternal tenderness for her daughter; and she 
frankly confessed, that she had now gained so much on 
her affections that she feared she had too much neglected 
the solemn promise she had made me, Never to forget 
how long she had loved me as her child. 

Encouraged by her returning kindness, I owned how 
much I had suffered ; and ventured to express my fears 
that I had hardly courage enough to bear the sight of 
my former friends under a new designation, as I must 
now appear to them on our removal to London, which 
was expected to take place in a short time. 

A few days after this she told me in the gentlest 
manner possible that Sir Edward and herself were of 

42 MRS. Leicester's school. 

opinion it would conduce to my happiness to pass a year 
or two at school. 

I knew that this proposal was kindly intended to 
spare me the mortification I so much dreaded ; therefore 
I endeavoured to subndt to my hard fate with cheerful- 
ness, and prepared myself, not without reluctance, lo 
quit a mansion which had been the scene of so many 
eiy oyments, and latterly of such very dijQferent feelings. 


When I was very young, I had the misfortune to lose 
my mother. My father very soon married again. The 
morning of the day on which that event took place, my 
father set me on his knee, and as he often used to do 
after the death of my mother, he called me his dear little 
orphaned Elinor ; and then he asked me if I loved Miss 
Saville. I replied " Yes." Then he said, this dear lady 
was going to be so kind as to be married to him, and 
that she was to live with us and be my mamma. My 
father told me this with such pleasure in his looks, that 
I thought it must be a very fine thing indeed to have a 
new mamma ; and on his saying it was time for me to 
be dressed against his return from church, I ran in great 
spirits to teU the good news in the nursery. I found my 
maid and the housemaid looking out of the window to 
see my father get into his carriage, which was newly 
painted ; the servants had new liveries and fine white 
ribands in their hats ; and then I perceived my father 
had left off his mourning. The maids were dressed in 
new coloured gowns and white ribands. On the table I 
saw a new muslin frock trimmed with fine lace, ready for 
me to put on. I skipped about the room quite in an 

When the carriage drove from the door, the house- 

THE father's wedding-DAT. 43 

keeper came in to bring the maids new white gloves. I 
repeated to her the words I had just heard, that that 
dear lady, Miss Saville, was going to be married to papa, 
and that she was to live with us anjl be my mamma. 

The housekeeper shook her head, and said, "Poor 
thing ! how soon children forget everjrthing I" 

I could not imagine what she meant by my forgetting 
eveiything, for I instantly recollected poor mamma used 
to say I had an excellent memory. 

The women b^gan to draw on their white gloves, and 
the seams rending in several places, Ann said, " This is 
just the way our gloves served us at my mistress's 
funeral." The other checked her, and said " Hush !" I 
was then thinking of some instances in which my manmia 
had praised my memory, and this reference to her funeral 
fixed her idea in my mind. 

From the time of her death no one had ever spoken 
to me of my mamma, and I had apparently forgotten 
her; yet I had a habit, which perhaps had not been 
observed, of taking my little stool, which had been my 
mamma's footstool, and a doll which my mamma had 
dressed for me while she was sitting in her elbow-chair, 
her head supported with pillows. With these in my 
hands, I used to go to the door of the room in which I 
had seen her in her last illness ; and after trying to open 
it, and peeping through the keyhole, from whence I could 
just see a glimpse of the crimson curtains, I used to sit 
down on the stool before the door, and play with my 
doll, and sometimes sing to it mamma's pretty song of 
"Balow my babe;" imitating as well as I could the 
weak voice in which she used to sing it to ma My 
mamma had a very sweet voice. I remember now the 
gentle tone in which she used to say my prattle did not 
disturb her. 

When I was dressed in my new frock, I wished poor 
mamma was alive to see how fine I was on papa's 
wedding-day, and I ran to my favourite station at her 
bedroom door. There I sat thinking of my mamma, and 


trying to remember exactly how she used to look ; because 
I foolishly imagined that Miss Saville was to be changed 
into something like my own mother, whose pale and 
delicate appearance in her last illness was all that I re- 
tained of her remembrance. 

When my father returned home with his bride, he 
walked upstairs to look for me, and my new mamma 
followed him. They found me at my mother's door, 
earnestly looking through the keyhole. I was thinking 
so intently on my mother, that when my father said, 
" Here is your new manuna, my Elinor," I turned round 
and began to cry, for no other reason than because she 
had a very high colour, and I remembered my mamma 
was veiy pale ; she had bright black eyes, my mother's 
were mild blue eyes ; and that instead of the wrapping 
gown and close cap in which I remembered my mamma, 
she was dressed in all her bridal decorations. 

I said, ^' Miss Saville shall not be my mamma," and 
I cried till I was sent away in disgrace. 

Every time I saw her for several days, the same notion 
came into my head that she was not a bit more like 
manuna than when she was Miss Saville. My father was 
very angry when he saw how shy I continued to look at 
her ; but she always said, ** Never mind ! Elinor and 
I shall soon be better friends." 

One day, when I was very naughty indeed, for I would 
not speak one word to either of them, my papa took his 
hat and walked out, quite in a passion. When he was 
gone, I looked up at my new mamma, expecting to see 
her very angry too ; but she was smiling and looking very 
good-naturedly upon me; and she said, "Now we are 
alone together, my pretty little daughter, let us forget 
papa is angry with us, and tell me why you were peep- 
ing through that door the day your papa brought me 
home, and you cried so at the sight of me." " Because 
mamma used to be there," I replied. When she heard 
me say this, she fell arcrying very sadly indeed ; and I 
was so very sorry to hear her cry so, that I forgot I did 

THE father's wedding-day. 45 

not love her, and I went up to her and said, " Don't cry, 
I won't be naughty any more, I won't peep through the 
door any mora" 

Then she said I had a little kind heart, and I should 
not have any occasion, for she would take me into the 
room herself; and she rang the bell, and ordered the key 
of that room to be brought to her ; and the housekeeper 
brought it, and tried to persuade her not to go. But she 
said, " I must have my own way in this ;" and she carried 
me in her arms into my mother's room. 

Oh, I was so pleased to be taken into mamma's room. 
I pointed out to her all the things that I remembered to 
have belonged to mamma, and she encouraged me to tell 
her all the little incidents which had dwelt on my memory 
concerning her. She told me that she went to school 
with mamma when she was a little girl, and that I should 
come into this room with her every day when papa was 
gone out, and she would teU me stories of mamma when 
she was a Httle girl no bigger than me. 

When my father came home we were walking in a 
garden at the back of our house, and I was showing her 
mamma's geraniums, and telling her what pretty flowers 
they had when mamma was alive. 

My father was astonished ; and he said, '^ Is this the 
sullen Elinor 1 what has worked this miracle 1" " Ask 
no questions," she replied, " or you will disturb our new- 
bom friendship. Elinor has promised to love me, and 
she says, too, that she will call me 'mamma.'" "Yes, 
I will, — mamma, mamma, mamma," I replied, and hung 
about her with the greatest fondness. 

After this she used to pass great part of the mornings 
with me in my mother's room, which was now made the 
repository of all my playthings, and also my schoolroom. 
Here my new mamma taught me to read. I was a sad 
little dunce, and scarcely knew my letters. My own 
mamma had often said, when she got better she would 
hear me read every day, but as she never got better, it 
was not her fault. I now began to learn very fast, for 


when I said my lesson well, I was always rewarded with 
some pretty story of my mother's childhood ; and these 
stories generally contained some little hints that were 
instructive to me, and which I greatly stood in want of; 
for, between improper indulgence and neglect, I had many 
faulty ways. 

In this kind manner my mother-in-law has instructed 
and improved me, and I love her because she was my 
mother's friend when they were young. She has been 
my only instructress, for I never went to school till I 
came here. She would have continued to teach me, but 
she has not time, for she has a little baby of her own 
now, and that is the reason I came to school 


My father has been dead nearly three years. Soon after 
his death, my mother being left in reduced circumstances, 
she was induced to accept the offer of Mrs. Beresford, an 
elderly lady of large fortune, to live in her house as her 
companion and the superintendent of her family. This 
lady was my godmother, and as I was my mother's only 
child, she veiy kindly permitted her to have me with her. 

Mrs. Beresford lived in a large old family mansion ; 
she kept no company, and never moved except from the 
breakfast-parlour to the eating-room, and from thence to 
the drawing-room to tea. 

Every morning when she first saw me, she used to 
nod her head very kindly, and say, "How do you do, 
little Margaret 1" But I do not recollect she ever spoke 
to me during the remainder of the day : except, indeed, 
after I had read the psalms and the chapters, which was 
my daily task ; then she used constantly to observe that 
I improved in my reading, and frequently added, "I 
never heard a child read so distinctly." 


She had been remarkably fond of needlework, and her 
conyersation with my mother was generally the histoiy 
of some pieces of work she had formerly done ; the dates 
when they were begun, and when fiidshed; what had 
retarded their progress, and what had hastened their 
completion. If occasionally any other events were spoken 
o^ she had no other chronology to reckon by, than in the 
recollection of what carpet, what sofa-<K)yer, what set of 
chairs, were in the frame at that time. 

I believe my mother is not particularly fond of needle- 
work ; for in my father's lifetime I never saw her amuse 
herself in this way ; yet, to oblige her kind patroness, 
she undertook to finish a large carpet which the old lady 
had just begun when her eyesight failed her. All day 
long my mother used to sit at the frame, talking of the 
shades of the worsted, and the beauty oif the colours — 
Mrs. Beresford seated in a chair near her, and, though 
her eyes were so dim she could hardly distinguish one 
colour from another, watching through her spectacles 
the progress of the work. 

When my daily portion of reading was over, I had a 
taste of needlework, which generally lasted half an hour. 
I was not allowed to pass more time in reading or work, 
because my eyes were very weak, for which reason I was 
always set to read in the large-print family Bible. I 
was very fond of reading ; and when I could, unobserved, 
steal a few minutes as they were intent on their work, I 
used to delight to read in the historical part of the Bible; 
but this, because of my eyes, was a forbidden pleasure ; 
and the Bible never being removed out of the room, it 
was only for a short time together that I dared softly to 
lift up the leaves and peep into it. 

As I was permitted to walk in the garden, or wander 
about the house whenever I pleased, I used to leave the 
parlour for hours together, and make out my own solitary 
amusement as well as I could. My first visit was always 
to a very large hall, which, from being paved with marble, 
was called the marble hall. In this hall, while Mrs. 


Beresford's husband was Hying, the tenants used to be 
feasted at Christmas. 

The heads of the twelve Caesars were hung round the 
halL Every day I mounted on the chairs to look at 
them, and to read the inscriptions underneath, till I 
became perfectly familiar with their names and features. 

Hogarth's prints were below the Caesars : I was very 
fond of looking at them, and endeavouring to make out 
their meaning. 

An old broken battledore and some shuttlecocks, with 
most of the feathers missing, were on a marble slab in 
one comer of the hall, which constantly reminded me 
that there had once been younger inhabitants here than 
the old lady and her gray-headed servants. In another 
comer stood a marble figure of a satyr ; every day I laid 
my hand on his shoulder to feel how cold he was. 

This hall opened into a room full of family portraits. 
They were all in the dresses of former times : some were 
old men and women, and some were children. I used 
to long to have a fairy's power to call the children down 
from their frames to play with me. One little girl in 
particular, who hung by the side of a glass door which 
opened into the garden, I often invited to walk there 
with me, but she still kept her station — one arm round 
a little lamb's neck, and in her hand a large bunch of 
roses. From this room I usually proceeded to the garden. 

When I was weary of the garden I wandered over the 
rest of the house. The best suite of rooms I never saw 
by any other light than what glimmered through the tops 
of the window-shutters, which, however, served to show 
the carved chinmey-pieces, and the curious old ornaments 
about the rooms ; but the worked fruniture and carpets 
of which I heard such constant praises I could have but 
an imperfect sight of, peeping under the covers which 
were kept over them, by the dim light ; for I constantly 
lifted up a comer of the envious cloth that hid these 
highly-praised rarities from my view. 

The bedrooms were also regularly explored by me, as 


well to admire the antique furniture, as for the sake of 
contemplating the tapestry hangings, which were full of 
Bible history. The subject of the one which chiefly 
attracted my attention was Hagar and her son IshmaeL 
Every day I admired the beauty of the youth, and pitied 
the forlorn state of him and his mother in the wilderness. 
At the end of the gallery into which these tapestry rooms 
opened, waa one door which, having often in vain 
attempted to open, I concluded to be locked ; and find- 
ing myself shut out, I was very desirous of seeing what 
it contained; and though still foiled in the attempt, I 
every day endeavoured to turn the lock, which — whether 
by constantly trying I loosened, being probably a very old 
one, or that the door was not locked but fastened tight 
by time, I know not — to my great joy, as I was one day 
trying the lock as usual, it gave way, and I found myself 
in this so-long-desired room. 

It proved to be a very large library. This was indeed 
a precious discovery. I looked round on the books with 
the greatest delight. I thought I would read them every 
one. I now forsook all my favourite haunts, and passed 
all my time here. I took down first one book, then 

If you never spent whole mornings alone in a large 
library, you cannot conceive the pleasure of taking down 
books in the constant hope of finding an entertaining 
book among them ; yet, after many days, meeting with 
nothing but disappointment, it becomes less pleasant. 
All the books within my reach were folios of the gravest 
cast. I could understand very little that I read in them, 
and the old dark print and the length of the lines made 
my eyes ache. 

When I had almost resolved to give up the search as 
fruitless, I perceived a volume lying in an obscure comer 
of the room. I opened it. It was a charming print; 
the letters were almost as large as the type of the family 
Bible. In the first page I looked into I saw the name 
of my favourite Ishmael, whose face I knew so well from 



the tapestry, and whose history I had often read in the 

I sat myself down to read this book with the greatest 
eagerness. The title of it was Mdhometanism Ex- 
plained, It was a very improper book, for it contained 
a fedse history of Abraham and his descendants. 

I shall be quite ashamed to tell you the strange effect 
it had on me. I know it was very wrong to read any 
book without permission to do so. If my time were to 
come over again, I would go and tell my mamma that 
there was a library in the house, and ask her to permit 
me to read a little while every day in some book that 
she might think proper to select for me. But unfortun- 
ately I did not then recollect that I ought to do this : 
the reason of my strange forgetfulness might be that 
my mother, following the example of her patroness, had 
almost wholly discontinued talking to me. I scarcely 
ever heard a word addressed to me from morning to 
night If it were not for the old servants saying, ^^ €k)od 
morning to you, Miss Margaret !" as they passed me in 
the long passages, I should have been the greatest part 
of the day in as perfect a solitude as Robinson Crusoe. 
It must have been because I was never spoken to at all 
that I forgot what was right and what was wrong, for I 
do not believe that I ever remembered I was doing 
wrong all the time I was reading in the library. A great 
many of the leaves in Maho'metanism Explained were 
torn out, but enough remained to make me imagine that 
Ishmael was the true son of Abraham ; I read here that 
the true descendants of Abraham were known by a light 
which streamed from the middle of their foreheads. It 
said that Ishmael's father and mother first saw this light 
streaming from his forehead as he was lying asleep in 
the cradle. I was very sorry so many of the leaves were 
torn out, for it was as entertaining as a fairy tale. I 
used to read the history of Ishmael, and then go and 
look at him in the tapestry, and then read his history 
again. When I had almost learned the histpry of Ishmael 


by heart, I read the rest of the book, and then I came to 
the histoiy of Mahomet, who was there said to be the 
last descendant of Abraham. 

If Ishmael had engaged so much of my thoughts, how 
much more so must Mahomet 1 His histoiy was fdll of 
nothing but wonders from the beginning to the end. 
The book said that those who believed all the wonder- 
ful stories which were related of Mahomet were called 
Mahometans, and True Believers: — I concluded that I 
must be a Mahometan, for I believed every word I read. 

At length I met with something which I also believed, 
though I trembled as I read it. This was, that after we 
are dead we are to pass over a narrow bridge, which 
crosses a bottomless gulf. The bridge was described to 
be no wider than a silken thread ; and it is said that 
all who were not Mahometans would slip on one side of 
this bridge, and drop into the tremendous gulf that had 
no bottom. I considered myself as a Mahometan, yet 
I was perfectly giddy whenever I thought of passing over 
this bridge. 

One day, seeing the old lady totter across the room, 
a sudden terror seized me, for I thought how would she 
ever be able to get over the bridge 1 Then too it was 
that I first recollected that my mother would also be in 
imminent danger; for I imagined she had never heard 
the name of Mahomet, because I foolishly conjectured 
this book had been locked up for ages in the libraiy, 
and was utterly unknown to the rest of the world. 

AH my desire was now to tell them the discovery I 
had made; for I thought, when they knew of the. exist- 
ence of Mahometanism Eayplainedy they would read it, 
and become Mahometans, to ensure themselves a safe 
passage over the silken bridge. But it wanted more 
courage than I possessed to break the matter to my 
intended converts ; I must acknowledge that I had been 
reading without leave ; and the habit of never speaking, 
or being spoken to, considerably increased the difficulty. 

My anxiety on this subject threw me into a fever. I 


was BO ill that my mother thought it necessary to sleep 
in the same room with me. In the middle of the night 
I could not resist the strong desire I felt to teU her what 
preyed so much on my mind. 

I awoke her out of a sound sleep, and begged she 
would be so kind as to be a Mahometan. She was very 
much alarmed, for she thought I was delirious, which I 
believe I was ; for I tried to explain the reason of my 
request, but it was in such an incoherent manner that 
she could not at all comprehend what I was talking 

The next day a physician was sent for, and he dis- 
covered, by several questions that he put to me, that I 
had read myself into a fever. He gave me medicines, 
and ordered me to be kept very quiet, and said he hoped 
in a few days I should be very well; but as it was 
a new case to him, he never having attended a little 
Mahometan before, if any lowness continued after he had 
removed the fever, he would, with my mother's permis- 
sion, take me home with him to study this extraordinary 
case at his leisure ; and added, that he could then hold 
a consultation with his wife, who was often very useful 
to him in prescribing remedies for the maladies of his 
younger patients. 

In a few days he fetched me away. His wife was in 
the carriage with him. Having heard what he said 
about her prescriptions, I expected, between the doctor 
and his lady, to undergo a severe course of medicine, 
especially as I heard him very formally ask her advice 
what was good for a Mahometan fever, the moment after 
he had handed me into the carriage. She studied a 
little whUe, and then she said, a ride to Harlow Fair 
would not be amiss. He said he was entirely of her 
opinion, because it suited him to go there to buy a horse. 

During the ride they entered into conversation with 
me, and in answer to their questions, I was relating to 
them the solitary manner in which I had passed my 
time ; how I found out the library, and what I had read 


in the fatal book which had so heated my imagination 
— ^when we arrived at the fair ; and Ishmael, Mahomet^ 
and the narrow bridge vanished out of my head in an 

Oh ! what a cheerful sight it was to me to see so 
many happy faces assembled together, walking up and 
down between the rows of booths that were full of showy 
things ; ribands, laces, toys, cakes, and sweetmeats ! 
While the doctor was gone to buy his horse, his kind 
lady let me stand as long as I pleased at the booths, 
and gave me many things which she saw I particularly 
admired. My needle-case, my pincushion, indeed, my 
work-basket and all its contents, are presents which she 
purchased for me at this fair. After we returned home 
she played with me all the evening at a geographical 
game, which she also bought for me at this cheerful fair. 

The next day she invited some young ladies of my 
own age to spend the day with me. She had a swing 
put up in the garden for us, and a room cleared of the 
furniture, that we might play at blindman^s buff. One 
of the liveliest of the girls, who had taken on herself the 
direction of our sports, she kept to be my companion all 
the time I stayed with her, and every day contrived some 
new amusement for us. 

Yet this good lady did not suffer aU my time to pass 
in mirth and gaiety. Before I went home she explained 
to me very seriously the error into which I had fallen. 
I found that so far from Mahometanism Explained being 
a book concealed only in this library, it was well known 
to every person of the least information. 

The Turks, she told me, were Mahometans, and that, 
if the leaves of my favourite book had not been torn out, 
I should have read that the author of it did not mean to 
give the fabulous stories here related as true, but only 
wrote it as giving a history of what the Turks, who are 
a very ignorant people, believe concerning the impostor 
Mahomet, who feigned himself to be a descendant of 
IshmaeL By the good offices of the physician and his 

54 MRS. Leicester's school. 

lady, I was carried home at the end of a month, perfectly 
cured of the error into which I had fallen, and very much 
ashamed of having beHeved so many absurdities. 


When I was a very young child, I remember residing 

with an uncle and aunt who live in shire. I think 

I remained there near a twelvemonth. I am ignorant of 
the cause of my being so long left there by my parents, 
who, though they were remarkably fond of me, never came 
to see me during all that time. As I did not know I 
should ever have occasion to relate the occurrences of my 
life, I never thought of inquiring the reason. 

I am just able to recollect that when I first went there 
I thought it was a fine thing to live in the country, and 
play with my little cousins in the garden all day long ; 
and I also recollect that I soon found that it was a very 
dull thing to live in the country with little cousins who 
have a papa and mamma in the house, while my own 
dear papa and mamma were in London, many miles away. 

I have heard my papa observe, girls who are not well 
managed are a most quarrelsome race of little people. 
My cousins very often quarrelled with me, and then they 
always said, '^I will ge and tell my mamma, cousin 
Emily ;'' and then I used to be very disconsolate, because 
I had no mamma to complain to of my grievances. 

My aunt always took Sophia's part because she was 
so young ; and she never suffered me to oppose Mary or 
Elizabeth, because they were older than me. 

The playthings were all the property of one or other 
of my cousins. The large dolls belonged to Mary or 
Elizabeth, and the pretty little wax dolls were dressed on 
purpose for Sophia, who always began to cry the instant 
I touched them. I had nothing that I could call my 


own but one pretty book of stories; and one day, as 
Sophia, was endeavouring to take it from me, and I was 
trying to keep it, it was all torn to pieces ; and my aunt 
would not be angiy with her. She only said, Sophia was 
a little baby and did not know any better. My uncle 
promised to buy me another book, but he never remem- 
bered it. Very often when he came home in the evening 
he used to say, " I wonder what I have got in my 
pocket;'' and then they all crowded round him, and I 
used to creep towards him, and think, maybe it is my 
book that my unde has got in his pocket. But, no ; 
nothing ever came out for me. Yet the first sight of a 
plaything, even if it be not one's own, is always a cheer- 
ful thing, and a new toy would put them in a good 
humour for a while, and they would say, " Here, Emily, 
look what I have got. You may take it in your own 
hand and look at it." But the pleasure of examining it 
was sure to be stopped in a short time by the old story 
of " Give that to me again ; you know that is mine." 
Nobody could help, I think, being a little out of humour 
if they were always served so ; but if I showed any signs 
of discontent, my aunt always told my uncle I was a little 
peevish fretful thing, and gave her more trouble than all 
her own children put together. My aunt would often say, 
what a happy thing it was to have such affectionate child- 
ren as hers were. She was always praising my cousins 
because they were affectionate ; that was sure to be her 
word. She said I had not one atom of affection in my 
disposition, for that no kindness ever made the least 
impression on me. And she would say all this with 
Sophia seated on her lap, and the two eldest perhaps 
hanging round their papa, while I was so dull to see them 
taken so much notice of, and so sorry that I was not 
affectionate, that I did not know what to do with myself. 
Then there was another complaint against me ; that 
I was so shy before strangers. Whenever any strangers 
spoke to me, before I had time to think what answer I 
diould give, Mary or Elizabeth would say, " Emily is so 

56 MRS. Leicester's school. 

shy, she will never speak." Then I, thinking I waa 
very shy, would creep into a corner of the room, and be 
ashamed to look up while the company stayed. 

Though I often thought of my papa and mamma, by 
degrees the remembrance of their persons faded out of 
my mind. When I tried to think how they used to look, 
the faces of my cousins' papa and mamma only came into 
my mind. 

One morning my uncle and aunt went abroad before 
breakfast, and took my cousins with them. They very 
often went out for whole days together and left me at 
home. Sometimes they said it was because they could 
not take so many children ; and sometimes they said it 
was because I was so shy, it was no amusement to me to 
go abroad. 

That morning I was very solitary indeed, for they had 
even taken the dog Sancho with them, and I was very 
fond of him. I went all about the house and garden to 
look for him. Nobody could tell me where Sancho was, 
and then I went into the front court and called, " Sancho, 
Sancho." An old man that worked in the garden was 
there, and he said Sancho was gone with his master. 
Oh ! how sorry I was ; I began to cry, for Sancho and I 
used to amuse ourselves for hours together when every- 
body was gone out. I cried till I heard the mail-coach- 
man's horn, and then I ran to the gate to see the mail- 
coach go past. It stopped before our gate, and a 
gentleman got out, and the moment he saw me he took 
me in his arms, and kissed me, and said I was Emily 
Barton, and asked me why the tears were on my little 
pale cheeks ; and I told him the cause of my distress. 
The old man asked him to walk into the house, and was 
going to call one of the servants ; but the gentleman 
would not let him, and he said, " Go on with your work, 
I want to talk to this little girl before I go into the 
house." Then he sat down on a bench which was in the 
court, and asked me many questions ; and I told him all 
my little troubles, for he was such a good-natured looking 


gentleman that I prattled very freely to him. I told him 
all I have told you, and more, for the unkind treatment 
I met with was more fresh in my mind than it is now. 
Then he called to the old man, and desired him to fetch 
a post-chaise, and gave him money that he should make 
haste, and I never saw the old man walk so fast before. 
When he had been gone a little while, the gentleman 
said, "Will you walk with me down the road to meet 
the chaise, and you shall ride in it a little way along 
with me." I had nothing on, not even my old straw 
bonnet that I used to wear in the garden; but I did 
not mind that, and I ran by his side a good way, till we 
met the chaise, and the old man riding with the driver. 
The gentleman said, "Get down and open the door," 
and then he lifted me in. The old man looked in a sad 
fright, and said " Oh ! sir, I hope you are not going to 
take the child away 1" The gentleman threw out a small 
card, and bid him give that to his master, and calling to 
the post-boy to drive on, we lost sight of the old man in 
a minute. 

The gentleman laughed very much and said, "We 
have frightened the old man, he thinks I am going to run 
away with you;" and I laughed, and thought it a very 
good joke, and he said, " So you tell me you are very 
shy;" and I replied, "Yes, sir, I am, before strangers." 
He said, " So I perceive you are," and then he laughed 
again, and I laughed, though I did not know why. We 
had such a merry ride, laughing all the way at one thing 
or another, till we came to a town where the chaise 
stopped, and he ordered some breakfast. When I got 
out I began to shiver a little, for it was the latter end 
of autumn ; the leaves were falling off the trees, and the 
air blew very cold. Then he desired the waiter to go 
and order a straw hat and a little warm coat for me ; 
and when the milliner came, he told her he had -stolen a 
little heiress, and we were going to Gretna Green in such 
a hurry that the yoimg lady had no time to put on her 
bonnet before she came out. The milliner said I was a 


pretty Kttle heiress, and she wished us a pleasant journey. 
When we had breakfasted, and I was equipped in my 
new coat and bonnet, I jumped into the chaise again as 
warm and as lively as a little bird. 

When it grew dark we entered a large city; the chaise 
began to roll over the stones, and I saw the lamps ranged 
along London streets. 

Though we had breakfasted and dined upon the road, 
and I had got out of one chaise into another many times, 
and was now riding on in the dark, I never once con- 
sidered where I was, or where I was going to. I put 
my head out of the chaise window, and admired those 
beautiful lights. I was sorry when the chaise stopped, 
and I could no longer look at the brilliant rows of lighted 

Taken away by a stranger under a pretence of a short 
ride, and brought quite to London, do you not expect 
some perilous end of this adventure ? Ah ! it was my 
papa himself, though I did not know who he was till 
afber he had put me into my mamma's arms, and told 
her how he had run away with his own little daughter. 
" It is your papa, my dear, that has brought you to your 
own home." — " This is your mamma, my love," they both 
exclaimed at once. Mamma cried for joy to see me, and 
she wept again when she heard my papa tell what a 
neglected child I had been at my uncle's. This he had 
found out, he said, by my own innocent prattle, and that 
he was so offended with his brother, my uncle, that he 
would not enter his house. And then he said what a 
little, happy, good child I had been ail the way, and that 
when he found I did not know him, he would not tell 
me who he was, for the sake of the pleasant surprise it 
would be to me. It was a surprise and a happiness 
Indeed, after living with unkind relations, all at once to 
know I was at home with my own dear papa and mamma 

My mamma ordered tea. Whenever I happen to like 
my tea very much, I always think of the delicious cup of 
tea mamma gave us after our journey. I think I see the 


um smoking before me now, and papa wheeling the sofa 
round, that I might sit between them at the table. 

Mamma called me Little Bunaway, and said it was 
very well it was only papa. I told her how we frightened 
the old gardener, and opened my eyes to show her how 
he stared, and how my papa made the milliner beUere 
we were going to Gi^tna Green. Mamma looked grave, 
and said she was almost frightened to find I had been 
so fearless; but I promised her another time I would 
not go into a post-chaise with a gentleman without ask- 
ing him who he was : and then she laughed, and seemed 
very well satisfied. 

Mamma, to my fancy, looked very handsome. She 
was very nicely dressed, quite like a fine lady. I held 
up my head, and felt very proud that I had such a papa 
and mamma. I thought to myself, '* dear, my cousins' 
papa and manmia are not to be compared to mine !" 

Papa said, " What makes you bridle and simper so, 
Emily?" Then I told him all that was in my mind. 
Papa asked if I did not think him as pretty as I did 
mamma. I could not say much for his beauty, but I 
told him he was a much finer gentleman than my uncle, 
and that I liked him the first moment I saw him, because 
he looked so good-natured. He said, "Well, then, he 
must be content with that half praise; but he had 
always thought himself very handsome.'' "0 dear!" 
said I, and fell a-laughing, till I spilt my tea, and 
mamma called me a little awkward girL 

The next morning my papa was going to the Bank to 
receive some money, and he took mamma and me with 
him, that I might have a ride through London streets. 
Every one that has been in London must Have seen the 
Bank, and therefore you may imagine what an effect the 
fine large rooms, and the bustle and confusion of people 
had on me, who was grown such a little wondering rustic 
that the crowded streets and the fine shops alone kept me 
in continual admiration. 

As we were returning home down Cheapside, papa 


said, '^ Emily shall take home some little books. Shall 
we order the coachman to the comer of St. Paul's Church- 
yard, or shall we go to the Juvenile Library in Skinner 
Street 1" Mamma said she would go to SHnner Street, 
for she wanted to look at the new buildings there. 
Papa bought me seven new books, and the lady in the 
shop persuaded him to take mor6, but mamma said 
that was quite enough at present. 

We went home by Ludgate Hill, because mamma 
wanted to buy something there; and while she went 
into a shop, papa heard me read in one of my new books, 
and said he was glad to find I could read so well, for 
I had forgot to tell him my aunt used to hear me read 
every day. 

My papa stopped the coach opposite to St. Dunstan's 
Church, that I might see the great iron figures strike 
upon the bell, to give notice that it was a quarter of an 
hour past two. We waited some time that I might see 
this sight, but just at the moment they were striking, I 
happened to be looking at a toy-shop that was on the 
other side of the way, and unluckily missed it. Papa 
said, " Never mind ; we wiU go into the toy-shop, and I 
dare say we shall find something that will console you 
for your disappointment." " Do," said mamma, " for I 
knew Miss Pearson, who keeps this shop, at Weymouth, 
when I was a little girl, not much older than Emily. 
Take notice of her, — she is a very intelligent old lady." 
Mamma made herself known to Miss Pearson, and 
showed me to her, but I did not much mind what they 
said ; no more did papa — for we were busy among the 

A large '^fax-doll, a baby-house completely furnished, 
and several other beautiful toys, were bought for me. 
I sat and looked at them with an amazing deal of 
pleasure as we rode home — ^they quite filled up one side 
of the coach. 

The joy I discovered at possessing things I could 
call my own, and the frequent repetition of the words, 


My own, my otm, gave my mamma some uneasiness. 
She justly feared that the cold treatment I had experi- 
enced at my uncle's had made me selfish, and therefore 
she invited a little girl to spend a few days with me, to 
see, as she has since told me, if I should not be liable 
to fall into the same error from which I had suffered so 
much at my uncle's. 

As my mamma had feared, so the event proved ; for 
I quickly adopted my cousins' selfish ideas, and gave the 
young lady notice that they were my own playthings, 
and she must not amuse herself with them any longer 
than I permitted her. Then presently I took occasion 
to begin a little quarrel with her, and said, " I have got 
a mamma now. Miss Frederica, as well as you, and I 
will go and tell her, and she will not let you play with 
my doll any longer than I please, because it is my own 
doll." And I very well remember I imitated, as nearly 
as I could, the haughty tone in which my cousins used 
to speak to me. 

"Oh, fie! Emily," said my mamma; "can you be 
the little girl who used to be so distressed because your 
cousins would not let you play with their dolls'? Do 
you not see you are doing the very same unkind thing 
to your playfellow that they did to you 1" Then I saw 
as plain as could be what a naughty girl I was, and I 
promised not to do so any more. 

A lady was sitting with mamma, and mamma said, 
" I believe I must pardon you this once, but I hope 
never to see such a thing again. This lady is Miss 
Frederica's mamma, and I am quite ashamed that she 
should be witness to your inhospitality to her daughter, 
particularly as she was so kind to come on purpose to 
invite you to a share in her own private box at the 
theatre this evening. Her carriage is waiting at the 
door to take us, but how can we accept of the invitation 
after what has happened ?" 

The lady begged it might all be forgotten ; and 
mamma consented that I should go, and she said. 


"But I hope, my dear Emily, when you are sitting 
in the playhouse, you will remember that pleasures 
are far more delightful when they are shared among 
numbers. If the whole theatre were your own, and 
you were sitting by yourself to see the performance, how 
dull it would seem to what you will find it, with so 
many happy faces around us, all amused with the same 
thing !" I hardly knew what my mamma meant, for I 
had never seen a play ; but when I got there, after the 
curtain drew up, I looked up towards the galleries, and 
down into the pit, and into all the boxes, and then I 
knew what a pretty sight it was to see a number of 
happy faces. I was very well convinced that it would 
not have been half so cheerful, if the theatre had been 
my own, to have sat there by myself. From that time, 
whenever I felt inclined to be selfish, I used to remember 
the theatre where the mamma of the young lady I had 
been so rude to gave me a seat in her own box. There 
is nothing in the world so charming as going to a play. 
All the way there I was as dull and as silent as I used 

to be in shire, because I was so sorry manmia had 

been displeased with me. Just as the coach stopped. 
Miss Frederica said, "Will you be fiiends with me, 
Emily?" and I replied, "Yes, if you please, Frederica;" 
and we went hand-in-hand together into the house. I 
did not speak any more till we entered the box, but after 
that I was as lively as if nothing at all had happened. 

I shall never forget how delighted I was at the first 
sight of the house. My little friend and I were placed 
together in the front, while our mammas retired to the 
back part of the box to chat by themselves, for they had 
been so kind as to come very early, that I might look 
about me before the performance began. 

Frederica had been very often at a play, ^e was 
very useful in telling me what everything was. She 
made me observe how the common people were coming 
bustling down the benches in the galleries, as if they 
were afraid they should lose their places. She told me 


what a crowd these poor people had to go through before 
they got into the house. Then she showed me how 
leisurely they all came into the pit, and looked about 
them before they took their seats. She gave me a 
charming description of the king and queen at the play, 
and showed me where they sat, and told me how the 
princesses were dressed. It was a pretty sight to see 
the remainder of the candles lighted ; and so it was to 
see the musicians come up from imder the stage. I 
admired the music yeiy much, and I asked if that was 
^he play. Frederica laughed at my ignorance, and then 
she told me, when the play began the green curtain 
would draw up to the sound of soft music and I should 
hear a lady, dressed in black, say, 

''Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast ;" 

and those were the very first words the actress, whose 
name was Almeria, spoke. When the curtain began to 
draw up, and I saw the bottom of her black petticoat, 
and heard the soft music, what an agitation I was in ! 
But before that we had long to wait. Frederica told me 
we should wait till all the dress-boxes were fuU, and then 
the lights would pop up under the orchestra ; the second 
music would play, and then the play would begin. 

This play was the Mourning Bride. It was a very 
moving tragedy; and after that, when the curtain 
dropped, and I thought it was all over, I saw the most 
diverting pantomime that ever was seen. I made a 
strange blunder the next day, for I told papa that 
Almeria was married to Harlequin at last ; but I assure 
you I meant to say Columbine, for I knew very well 
that Almeria was married to Alphonso ; for she said she 
was in the first scene. She thought he was dead, but 
she found him again, just as I did my papa and mamma, 
when she least expected it. 



I WAS brought up in the country. From my infancy I 
was always a weak and tender-spirited girl, subject to 
fears and depressions. My parents, and particularly my 
mother, were of a very different disposition. They were 
what is usually called gay: they loved pleasure, and 
parties, and visiting ; but as they found the turn of my 
mind to be quite opposite, they gave themselves little 
trouble about me, but upon such occasions generally left 
me to my choice, which was much oftener to stay at 
home and indulge myself in my solitude, than to join in 
their rambling visits. I was always fond of being alone, 
yet always in a manner afraid. There was a book closet 
which led into my mother's dressing-room. Here I was 
eternally fond of being shut up by myself, to take down 
whatever volumes I pleased, and pore upon them, no 
matter whether they were fit for my years or no, or 
whether I imderstood them. Here, when the weather 
would not permit my going into the dark walk, my walky 
as it was called, in the garden ; here, when my parents 
have been from home, I have stayed for hours together, 
till the loneliness which pleased me so at first, has at 
length become quite frightful and I have rushed out of 
the closet into the inhabited parts of the house, and 
sought refuge in the lap of some one of the female 
servants, or of my aunt, who would say, seeing me look 
pale, that Maria had been frightening herself with some 
of those noLsty hooks : so she used to call my favourite 
volumes, which I would not have parted with, no, not 
with one of the least of them, if I had had the choice to 
be made a fine princess, and to govern the world. But 
my aunt was no reader. She used to excuse herself, and 
say that reading hurt her eyes. I have been naughty 
enough to think that this was only an excuse, for I found 
that my aunt's weak eyes did not prevent her from poring 


ten hours a day upon her prayer-book, or her favourite 
Thomas ct Kempis. But this was always her excuse for 
not reading any of the books I recommended. My aunt 
was my father's sister. She had never been married. 
My father was a good deal older than my mother, and 
my aimt was ten years older than my father. As I was 
often left at home with her, and as my serious disposition 
so well agreed with hers, an intimacy grew up between 
the old lady and me, and she would often say that she 
loved only one person in the world and that was me. 
Not that she and my parents were on very bad terms ; 
but the old lady did not feel herself respected enough. 
The attentfon and fondness which she showed to me, 
conscious as I was that I was almost the only being she 
felt anything like fondness to, made me love her, as it 
was natural ; indeed, I am ashamed to say, that I fear I 
almost loved her better than both my parents put to- 
gether. But there was an oddness, a silence about my 
aunt, which was neVer interrupted but by her occasional 
expressions of love to me, that made me stand in fear of 
her. An odd look from under her spectacles would some- 
times scare me away when I had been peering up in her 
face to make her kiss me. Then she had a way of 
muttering to herself, which, though it was good words 
and religious words that she was mumbling, somehow I 
did not like. My weak spirits, and the fears I was 
subject to, always made me afraid of any personal singu- 
larity or oddness in any one. I am ashamed, ladies, to 
lay open so many particulars of our family ; but indeed 
it is necessary to the understanding of what I am going 
to tell you, of a very great weakness, if not wickedness, 
which I was guilty of towards my aunt. " But I must 
return to my studies, and tell you what books I found 
in the closet, and what reading I chiefly admired. There 
was a great Booh of Martyrs in which I used to read, 
or rather I used to spell out meanings ; for I was too 
ignorant to make out many words; but there it was 
written all about those good men who chose to be burned 



alive rather than forsake their religion and become 
naughty Papists. Some words I could make out, some I 
could not ; but I made out enough to fill my little head 
with vanity, and I used to think I was so courageous I 
could be burned too, and I would put my hands upon the 
flames which were pictured in the pretty pictures which 
the book had, and feel them ; but you know, ladies, there 
is a great difference between the flames in a picture and 
real fire, and I am now ashamed of the conceit which I 
had of my own courage, and think how poor a martyr 
I should have made in those day& Then there was a 
book not so big ; but it had pictures in it ; it was called 
Culpepper's Herbal ; it was full of pictured of plants 
and herbs, but I did not much care for that. Then there 
was Salmon's Modem History^ out of which I picked 
a good deal. It had pictures of Chinese gods, and the 
great hooded serpent, which ran strangely in my fancy. 
There were some law books too, but the old English 
firightened me fi:om reading them. But above all, what I 
relished was Stackhouse's History of the Bible, where 
there was the picture of the ark, and all the beasts 
getting into it. This delighted me, because it puzzled 
me, and many an aching head have I got with poring 
into it, and contriving how it might be built, with such 
and such rooms to hold all the world if there should be 
another flood, and sometimes settling what pretty beasts 
should be saved and what should not, for I would have 
no ugly or deformed beast in my pretty ark. But this 
was only a piece of folly and vanity that a little reflection 
might cure me of. Foolish girl that I was ! to suppose 
that any creature is really ugly that has all its limbs 
contrived with heavenly wisdom, and was doubtless 
formed to some beautiful end, though a child cannot 
comprehend it. Doubtless a frog or a toad is not uglier 
in itself than a squirrel or a pretty green lizard ; but we 
want understanding to see it. 

[Here I must remind you, my dear Miss Howe^ that 
one of the young ladies smiled and two or three were seen 


to Utter at this part of your narratumy and you seemed, 
I thought^ a little too angry for a girl of your sense and 
reading; hvi you unll remember, my dear, that young 
heads are not always able to bear strange and unusual 
assertions ; and if som^e elder person, possibly, or sovne 
booh which you had found, had not ptU it into your head, 
you would hardly have discovered by your own reflection 
thai, a frog or a toad was equal in real loveliness to a 
frisldng squirrel, or a pretty green lizard, as you called 
it ; not remeTnhering that at this very tirne you gave the 
lizard the n/ame of pretty, and left it out to the frog — so 
liable we are all to pr^'udices. But you went on with 
your story,^ 

These fancies, ladies, were not so very foolish or 
naughty, perhaps, but they may be forgiven in a child of 
six years old ; but what I am going to tell, I shall be 
ashamed of, and repent, I hope, as long as I live. It 
will teach me not to form rash judgments. Besides the 
picture of the ark, and many others which I have forgot, 
Stackhouse contained one picture which made more im- 
pression upon my childish understanding than all the rest. 
It was the picture of the raising up of Samuel, which I 
used to call the Witch of Endor picture. I was always 
very fond of picking up stories about witches. There 
was a book called GlanvU on Witches, which used to 
lie about in this closet; it was thumbed about, and 
showed it had been much read in former times. This 
was my treasure. Here I used to pick out the strangest 
stories. My not being able to read them very well prob- 
ably made them appear more strange and out of the 
way to me. But I could collect enough to understand 
that witches were old women who gave themselves up 
to do mischief — how by the help of spirits as bad as 
themselyes they lamed cattle, and made the com not 
grow ; and how they made images of wax to stand for 
people that had done them any injury, or they thought 
had done them iojuiy ; and how they burned the images 
before a slow fire, and stuck pins in them; and the 


persons which these waxen images represented, however 
far distant, felt all the pains and torments in good earnest, 
which were inflicted in show upon these images; and 
such a horror I had of these wicked witches, that though 
I am now better instructed, and look upon all these 
stories as mere idle tales, and invented to fill people's 
heads with nonsense, yet I cannot recall to mind the 
horrors which I then felt without shuddering, and feeling 
something of the old fit return. 

[Here, my dear Miss Howe, yov, may remefmher that 

Miss M , the youngest of our party, showing some 

more curiosity iJian usual, I winked upon you to hasten 
to your story, lest the terrors which you were describing 
should mobke too much impression upon a young head, arid 
you kindly understood my sign, and said less upon the 
sfuhject of your fears than I fancy you first intended!] 

This foolish book of witch stories had no pictures in 
it, but I made up for them out of my own fancy, and 
out of the great picture of the raising up of Samuel in 
Stackhouse. I was not old enough to understand the 
difference there was between these silly improbable tales, 
which imputed such powers to poor old women, who are 
the most helpless things in the creation, and the narrative 
in the Bible, which does not say that the witch, or pre- 
tended witch, raised up the dead body of Samuel by her 
own power ; but, as it clearly appears, he was permitted 
by the divine wiU to appear to confound the presumption 
of Saul ; and that the witch herself was really as much 
frightened and confounded at the miracle as Saul himself, 
not expecting a real appearance ; but probably having 
prepared some juggling, sleight-of-hand tricks and sham 
appearance to deceive the eyes of Saul : whereas she, nor 
any one living, had never the power to raise the dead to 
life, but only He who made them from the first. These 
reasons I might have read in Stackhouse itself if I had 
been old enough, and have read them in that very book 
since I was older, but at that time I looked at little 
beyond the picture. 


These stories of witches so terrified me, that my sleeps 
.were broken, and in my dreams I always had a fancy of 
a witch being in the room with me. I know now that 
it was only nervousness ; but though I can laugh at it 
now as well as you, ladies, if you knew what I suffered, 
you would be thankful that you have had sensible people 
about you to instruct you and teach you better. I was 
let grow up wild like an ill weed, and thrived accordingly. 
One night that I had been terrified in my sleep with my 
imaginations, I got out of bed and crept softly to the 
adjoining room. My room was next to where my aunt 
usually sat when she was alone. Into her room I crept 
for relief from my fears. The old lady was not yet 
retired to rest, but was sitting with her eyes half-open, 
half-closed ; her spectacles tottering upon her nose ; her 
head nodding over her prayer-book ; her lips mumbling 
the words as she read them, or half- read them in her 
dozing posture 3 her grotesque appearance ; her old- 
fashioned dress, resembling what I had seen in that fatal 
picture in Stackhouse; ail this, with the dead time of 
night, as it seemed to me (for I had gone through my 
first sleep), joined to produce a wicked fancy in me, that 
the form which I had beheld was not my aimt, but some 
witch. Her mumbling of her prayers confirmed me in 
this shocking idea. I had read in Glanvil of those wicked 
creatures reading their prayers backwards, and I thought 
that this was the operation which her lips were at this 
time employed about. Instead of flying to her friendly 
lap for that protection which I had so often experienced 
when I have been weak and timid, I shrunk back terrified 
and bewildered to my bed, where I lay in broken sleeps 
and miserable fancies till the morning, which I had so 
much reason to wish for, came. My fancies a little wore 
away with the light, but an impression was fixed, which 
could not for a long time be done away. In the daytime, 
when my father and mother were about the house, when 
I saw them familiarly speak to my aimt, my fears all 
vanished ; and when the good creature has taken me upon 


her knees and shown ine any kindness more than ordinary, 
at such times I have melted into tears and longed to tell 
her what naughty foolish fancies I had had of her. But 
when night returned, that figure which I had seen recurred 
— the posture, the half- closed eyes, the mumbling and 
muttering which I had heard — a confusion was in my 
head, who it was I had seen that night : — it was my aunt, 
and it was not my aunt : — ^it was that good creature, who 
loved me above all the world, engaged at her good task of 
devotions—perhaps praying for some good to me. Again, 
it was a witch — a creature hateful to Grod and man, read- 
ing backwards the good prayers; who would perhaps 
destroy me. In these conflicts of mind I passed several 
weeks, till, by a revolution in my fate, I was removed to 
the house of a female relation of my mother's, in a distant 
part of the coimtry, who had come on a visit to our house, 
and observing my lonely ways, and apprehensive of the 
ill eflect of my mode of living upon my health, begged 
leave to take me home to her house to reside for a short 
time. I went with some reluctance at leaving my closet, 
my dark walk, and even my aunt, who had been such a 
source of both love and terror to me. But I went, and 
soon found the grand effects of a change of scene. Instead 
of melancholy closets and lonely .avenues of trees, I saw 
lightsome rooms and cheerful faces ; I had companions of 
my own age ; no books were allowed me but what were 
rational and sprightly ; that gave me mirth or gave me 
instruction. I soon learned to laugh at witch stories; 
and when I returned after three or four months' absence 
to our own house, my good aunt appeared to me in the 
same light in which I had viewed her from my infancy, 
before that foolish fancy possessed me, or rather, I should 
say, more kind, more fond, more loving than before. It 
is impossible to say how much good that lady, the kind 
relation of my mother's that I spoke of, did to me by 
changing the scene. Quite a new turn of ideas was given 
to me ; I became sociable and companionable ; my parents 
soon discovered a change in me, and I have found a 

THE merchant's DAUGHTER. 71 

similar alteration in them. They have been plainly more 
fond of me since that change, as from that time I learned 
to conform myself more to their way of living. I have 
never since had that aversion to company and going out 
with them which used to make them regard me with less 
fondness than they would have wished to show. I impute 
almost all that I had to complain of in their neglect to 
my having been a little, unsociable, uncompanionable 
mortal I lived in this manner for a year or two, passing 
my time between our house and the lady's who so kindly 
took me in hand, till, by her advice, I was sent to this 
school ; — ^where I have told you, ladies, what for fear of 
ridicule I never ventured to tell any person besides, the 
story of my foolish and naughty fancy. 


Until I was eleven years of age my life was one con- 
tinued series of indulgence and delight. My father was 
a merchant, and supposed to be in very opulent circum- 
stances, at least I thought so, for at a very early age I 
perceived that we lived in a more expensive way than 
any of my father's friends did. It was not the pride 
of birth, of which. Miss Withers, you once imagined 
you might justly boast, but the mere display of wealth 
that I was early taught to set an undue value on. 
My parents spared no cost for masters to instruct 
me; I had a French governess, and also a woman- 
servant whose sole business it was to attend on me. My 
playroom was crowded with toys, and my dress was the 
admiration of all my youthftd visitors, to whom I gave 
balls and entertainments as often as I pleased. I looked 
down on aU my young companions as my inferiors ; but 
■I chiefly assumed airs of superiority over Maria Hartley, 
whose father was a clerk in my father's counting-house, 


and therefore I concluded she would regard the fine show 
I made with more envy and admiration than any other 
of my companions. In the days of my humiliation, which 
I too soon experienced, I was thrown on the bounty of 
her father for support. To be a dependant on the 
charity of her family seemed the heaviest evil that could 
have befallen me; for I remembered how often I had 
displayed my finery and my expensive ornaments, on 
purpose to enjoy the triumph of my superior advantages ; 
and, with shame I now speak it, I have often glanced at 
her plain linen frock, when I showed her my beautifdl 
ball- dresses. Nay, I once gave her a hint, which she 
so well understood that she burst into tears, that I could 
not invite her to some of my parties because her manmia 
once sent her on my birthday in a coloured frock. I 
cannot now think of my want of feeling without excessive 
pain ; but one day I saw her highly amused with some 
curious toys, and on her expressing the pleasure the sight 
of them gave her, I said, "Yes, they are very well for 
those who are not accustomed to these things ; but, for * 
my part, I have so many, I am tired of them, and I am 
quite delighted to pass an hour in the empty closet your 
mamma allows you to receive your Tisitors in, because 
there is nothing there to interrupt the conversation.'' 

Once, as I have said, Maria was betrayed into tears ; 
now that I insulted her by calling her own small apart- 
ment an empty closet, she turned quick upon me, but 
not in anger, saying, " Oh, my dear Miss Wilmot, how 

very sorry I am " Here she stopped ; and though 

I knew not the meaning of her words, I felt it as a re- 
proof . I hung down my head abashed ; yet perceiving 
that she was aU that day more kind and obliging than 
ever, and being conscious of not having merited this 
kindness, I thought she was mean-spirited, and therefore 
I consoled myself with having discovered this fault in 
her, for I thought my arrogance was full as excusable as 
her meanness. 

In a few days 1 knew my error ; I learned why Maria 


had been so kind, and why she had said she was sorry. 
It was for me, proud disdamful girl that I was, that she 
was sorry ; she knew, though I did not, that my father 
was on the brink of ruin ; and it came to pass, as she 
feared it would, that in a few days my playroom was as 
empty as Maria's closet, and all my grandeur was at an end. 

My father had what is called an execution in the 
house; everything was seized that we possessed. Our 
splendid furniture, and even our wearing apparel, all 
my beautiful ball-dresses, my trinkets, and my toys, 
were taken away by my father's merciless creditors. 
The week in which this happened was such a scene of 
hurry, confusion, and misery, that I will not attempt to 
describe it. 

At the end of a week I found that my father and 
mother had gone out very early in the morning. Mr. 
Hartley took me home to his own house, and I e3q)ected 
to find them there ; but, oh ! what anguish did I feel, 
when I heard him tell Mrs. Hartley they had quitted 
England, and that he had brought me home to live with 
them. In tears and sullen silence I passed the first 
day of my entrance into this despised house. Maria 
was from home. All the day I sat in a comer of the 
room grieving for the departure of my parents; and if 
for a moment I forgot that sorrow, I tormented myself 
with imagining the many ways which Maria might 
invent to make me feel in return the slights and airs 
of superiority which I had given myself over her. Her 
mother began the prelude to what I expected, for I 
heard her freely censure the imprudence of my parents. 
She spoke in whispers; yet, though I could not hear 
every word, I made out the tenor of her discourse. 
She was very anxious, lest her husband should be 
involved in the ruin of bur house. He was the chief 
clerk in my father's counting-house. Towards evening 
he came in and quieted her fears by the welcome news 
that he had obtained a more lucrative situation than the 
one he had lost. 


At eight in the evening Mrs. Hartley said to me, 
" Miss Wilmot, it is time for you to be in bed, my dear ; " 
and ordered the servant to show me upstairs, adding that 
she supposed she must assist me to undress, but that 
when Maria came home, she must teach me to wait on 
myself. The apartment in which I was to sleep was at 
the top of the house. The walls were white-washed, and 
the roof was sloping. There was only one window in 
the room, a smaJl casement, through which the bright 
moon shone, and it seemed to me the most melancholy 
sight I had ever beheld. In broken and disturbed 
slumbers I passed the night. When I awoke in the 
morning, she whom I most dreaded to see, Maria, who I 
supposed had envied my former state, and who I now 
felt certain would exult over my present mortifying 
reverse of fortune, stood by my bedside. She awakened 
me from a dream, in which I thought she was ordering 
me to fetch her something ; and on my refusal, she said 
I must obey her, for I was now her servant. Far 
differently from what my dreams had pictured did Maria 
address me 1 She said in the gentlest tone imaginable, 
" My dear Miss Wilmot, my mother begs you will come 
down to breakfast ; will you give me leave to dress you 1" 
My proud heart would not suffer me to speak, and I 
began to attempt to put on my clothes ; but never having 
been used to do anything for myself, I was unable to 
perform it, and was obliged to accept of the assistance of 
Maria. She dressed me, washed my face, and combed 
my hair ; and as she did these services for me, she said 
in a most respectfril manner, " Is this the way you like 
to wear this. Miss Wilmot V or, " Is this the way you 
like this done?" and courtesied as she gave me every 
fresh article to put on. The slights I expected to receive 
from Maria would not have distressed me more than 
the delicacy of her behaviour did. I hung down my 
head with shame and anguish. 

In a few days Mrs. Hartley ordered her daughter to 
instruct me in such usefrd works and employments as 


Maria knew. Of everythmg which she called useful I 
was most ignorant. My accomplishments I found were 
held in small estimation here, by all indeed, except Maria. 
Sbe taught me nothing without the kindest apologies for 
being obliged to teach me, who, she said, was so excellent 
in all elegant arts ; and was for ever thanking me for the 
pleasure she had formerly received from my skill in music 
and pretty fancy works. The distress I was in made 
these complimentaiy speeches not flatteries, but sweet 
drops of comfort to my degraded heart, almost broken 
with misfortune and remorse. 

I remained at Mr. Hartley's but two months ; for at 
the end of that time my father inherited a considerable 
property by the death of a distant relation, which has 
enabled him to settle his affairs. He established himself 
again as a merchant ; but as he wished to retrench his 
expenses, and begin the world again on a plan of strict 
economy, he sent me to this school to finish my education. 


I WAS bom and brought up in a house in which my 
parents had all their lives resided, which stood in the 
midst of that lonely tract of land called the Lincolnshire 
Fens. Few families besides our own lived near the spot, 
both because it was reckoned an unwholesome air, and 
because its distance from any town or market made it an 
inconvenient situation. My father was in no very affluent 
circumstances, and it was a sad necessity which he was 
put to of having to go many miles to fetch anything 
from the nearest village, which was full seven miles 
distant, through a sad miiy way that at all times made 
it heavy walking, and after rain was almost impassable. 
But he had no horse or carriage of his own. 

The church which belonged to the parish in which 


our house was situated stood in this village; and its 
distance being, as I said before, seven miles from our 
house, made it quite an impossible thing for my mother 
or me to think of going to it Sometimes, indeed, on a 
fine dry Sunday my father would rise early, and take a 
walk to the village, just to see how goodness thrived, as 
he used to say ; but he would generally return tired, and 
the worse for his walk. It is scarcely possible to explain 
to any one who has not lived in the Fens what difficult 
and dangerous walking it is. A mile is as good as four, 
I have heard my father say, in those parts. My mother, 
who in the early part of her life had lived in a more 
civilised spot, and had been used to constant church- 
going, would often lament her situation It was from 
her I early imbibed a great curiosity and anxiety to see 
that thing which I had heard her call a church, and so 
often lament that she could never go to. I had seen 
houses of various structures, and had seen in pictures the 
shapes of ships and boats, and palaces and temples, but 
never rightly anything that could be called a church, or 
that could satisfy me about its form. Sometimes I 
thought it must be like our house, and sometimes I 
fancied it must be more like the house of our neighbour, 
Mr. Sutton, which was bigger and handsomer than ours. 
Sometimes I thought it was a great hollow cave, such as 
I have heard my father say the first inhabitants of the 
earth dwelt in. Then I thought it was like a waggon, 
or a cart, and that it must be something movable. The 
shape of it ran in my mind strangely, and one day I 
ventured to ask my mother what was that foolish thing 
she w^ always longing to go to, and which she called 
a church. Was it anything to eat or drink, or was it 
only like a great huge plaything to be seen and stared 
at ? — I was not quite five years of age when I made this 

This question, so oddly put, made my mother smile ; 
but in a little time she put on a more grave look, and 
informed me that a church was nothing that I had 


supposed it, but it was a great building, far greater than 
any house which I had seen, where men and wconen 
and children came together twice a day on Sundays, to 
hear the Bible read, and make good resolutions for the 
week to come. She told me that the fine music which 
we sometimes heard in the air came from the bells of 
St. Mary's Church, and that we never heard it but when 
the wind was in a particular point. This raised my 
wonder more than all the rest ; for I had somehow con- 
ceived that the noise which I heajrd was occasioned by 
birds up in the air, or that it was made by the angels, 
whom (so ignorant I was till that time) I had always 
considered to be a sort of birds; for before this time 
I was totally ignorant of anything like religion, it being 
a principle of my father that young heads should not be 
told too many things at once, for fear they should get 
confused ideas and no clear notions of anything. We 
had always indeed so far observed Sundays, that no work 
was done upon that day, and upon that day I wore my 
best muslin frock, and was not allowed to sing or to 
be noisy ; but I never understood why that day should 
differ from any other. We had no public meetings: 
indeed, the few straggling houses which were near us 
would have furnished but a slender congregation; and 
the loneliness of the place we lived in, instead of making 
us more sociable, and drawing us closer together, as my 
mother used to say it ought to have done, seemed to 
have the effect of making us more distant and averse to 
society than other people. One or two good neighbours 
indeed we had, but not in numbers to give me an idea 
of church attendance. 

But now my mother thought it high time to give me 
some clearer instruction in the main points of religion, 
and my father came readily into her plan. I was now 
permitted to sit up half an hour later on a Sunday even- 
ing that I might hear a portion of Scripture read, which 
had always been their custom, though by reason of my 
tender age, and my father's opinion on the impropriety 


of children being taught too young, I had never tiU now 
been an auditor. I was taught my prayers, and those 
things which you, ladies, I doubt not, had the benefit of 
being instructed in at a much earlier aga 

The clearer my notions on these points became, they 
only made me more passionately long for the privilege 
of joining in that social service, from which it seemed 
that we alone, of all the inhabitants of the land, were 
debarred ; and when the wind was in that point which 
enabled the sound of the distant bells of St. Mary's to 
be heard over the great moor which skirted our house, 
I have stood out in the air to catch the sounds, which I 
almost devoured ; and the tears have come into my eyes 
when sometimes they seemed to speak to me almost in 
articulate sounds, to come to church, and because of the 
great moor which was between me and them, I could 
not come; and the too tender apprehensions of these 
things have filled me with a religious melancholy. 
With thoughts like these I entered into my seventh 

And now the time was come when the great moor 
was no longer to separate me from the object of my 
wishes and of my curiosity. My father having some 
money left him by the will of a deceased relation, we 
ventured to set up a sort of a carriage — ^no very superb 
one, I assure you, ladies ; but in that part of the world 
it was looked upon with some envy by our poorer neigh- 
bours. The first party of pleasure which my father 
proposed to take in it was to the village where I had 
so often wished to go, and my mother and I were to 
accompany him ; for it was very fit, my father observed, 
that little Susan should go to church and learn how to 
behave herself, for we might some time or other have 
occasion to live in London, and not always be confined 
to that out-of-the-way spot. 

It was on a Sunday morning that we set out, my 
little heart beating with abnost breathless expectation. 
The day was fine, and the roads as good as they ever 


are in those parts. I was so happy and so proud ! I 
wafi lost in dreams of what I was going to see. At 
length the tall steeple of St. Mary's Church came in 
view. It was pointed out to me by my father, as the 
place from which that music had come, which I had 
heard over the moor, and had fancied to be angels 
singing. I was wound up to the highest pitch of delight 
at having visibly presented to me the spot from which 
had proceeded that unknown friendly music ; and when 
it began to peal, just as we approached the village, it 
seemed to speak, Susan is come, as plainly as it used to 
invite me to come, when I heard it over the moor. I 
pass over our alighting at the house of a relation, and 
all that passed till I went with my father and mother to 

St. Mary's Church is a great church for such a small 
village as it stands in. My &.ther said it had been a 
cathedral, and that it had once belonged to a monastery, 
but the monks were all gone. Over the door there was 
stonework, representing saints and bishops, and here and 
there, along the sides of the church, there were figures 
of men's heads made in a strange grotesque way : I have 
since seen the same sort of figures in the round tower of 
the Temple Church in London. My father said they 
were very improper ornaments for such a place, and so I 
now think them ; but it seems the people who built these 
great churches in old times gave themselves more liberties 
than they do now ; and I remember that when I first 
saw them, and before my father had made this observa- 
tion, though they were so ugly and out of shape, and 
some of them seem to be grinning and distorting their 
features with pain or with laughter, yet being placed 
upon a church, to which I had come with such serious 
thoughts, I could not help thinking they had some serious 
meaning ; and I looked at them with wonder, but with- 
out any temptation to laugh. I somehow fancied they 
were the representation of wicked people set up as a 

80 MRS. Leicester's school. 

When we got into the church, the service was not 
begun, and my father kindly took me round to show 
me the monuments and everything else remarkable. I 
remember seeing one of a venerable figure, which my 
father said had been a judge. ' The figure was kneeling, 
as if it was alive, before a sort of desk, with a book, I 
suppose the Bible, lying on it I somehow fancied the 
figure had a sort of life in it, it seemed so natural, or 
that the dead judge that it was done for said his prayers 
at it still. This was a silly notion, but I was very 
young, and had passed my little life in a remote place, 
where I had never seen anything nor knew anything; 
and the awe which I felt at first being in a church took 
from me all power but that of wondering. I did not 
reason about anything ; I was too young. Now I under- 
stand why monuments are put up for the dead, and why 
the figures which are put upon them are described as 
doing the actions which they did in their lifetimes, and 
that they are a sort of pictures set up for our instruction. 
But all was new and surprising to me on that day — the 
long windows with little panes, the pillars, the pews 
made of oak, the little hassocks for the people to kneel 
on, the form of the pulpit, with the sounding-board over 
it, gracefully carved in flower-work. To you, who have 
lived all your lives in populous places, and have been 
taken to church from the earliest time you can remember, 
my admiration of these things must appear strangely 
ignorant. But I was a lonely young creature, that had 
been brought up in remote places, where there was neither 
church, nor church-going inhabitants. I have since lived 
in great towns, and seen the ways of churches and of 
worship, and I am old enough now to distinguish between 
what is essential in religion, and what is merely formal 
or ornamental. 

When my father had done pointing out to me the 
things most worthy of notice about the chturch, the service 
was almost ready to begin ; the parishioners had most of 
them entered and taken their seats ; and we were shown 


into a pew where my mother was already seated. Soon 
after the clergyman entered, and the organ began to play 
what is called the voluntary. I had never seen so many 
people assembled before. At first I thought that all eyes 
were upon me, and that because I was a stranger. I 
was terribly ashamed and confused at first ; but my 
mother helped me to find out the places in the prayer- 
book, and being busy about that took off some of my 
painful apprehensions. I was no stranger to the order 
of the service, having often read in the prayer-book at 
home, but my thoughts being confused, it puzzled me a 
little to find out the responses and other things, which I 
thought I knew so well ; but I went through it tolerably 
weU. One thing which has often troubled me since is, 
that I am afraid I was too full of myself and of thinking 
how happy I was, and what a privilege it was for one 
that was so young to join in the service with so many 
grown people, so that I did not attend enough to the 
instruction which I might have received. I remember I 
foolishly applied everything that was said to myself, so 
as it could mean nobody but myself, I was so full of my 
own thoughts. All that assembly of people seemed to 
me as if they were come together only to show me the 
way of a church. Not but I received some very affecting 
impressions from some things which I heard that day ; 
but the standing up and sitting down of the people, the 
organ, the singing: — the way of aU these things took 
up more of my attention than was proper ; or I thought 
it did. I believe I behaved better, and was more serious 
when I went a second time, and a third time ; for now 
we went as a regular thing every Sunday, and continued 
to do so, till, by a still further change for the better in 
my father's circumstances, we removed to London. Oh ! 
it was a happy day for me my first going to St. Mary's 
Church ; before that day I used to feel like a little out- 
cast in the wilderness, like one that did not belong to 
the world of Christian people. I have never felt like a 
little outcast since. But I never can hear the sweet 



noise of bells, that I don't think of the angels singing, 
and what poor but pretty thoughts I had of angels in my 
uninstructed solitude. 


I WAS bom in the East Indies. I lost my father and 
mother young. At the age of five my relations thought 
it proper that I should be sent to England for my edu- 
cation. I was to be intrusted to the care of a young 
woman who had a character for great humanity and 
discretion ; but just as I had taken leave of my friends, 
and we were about to take our passage, the young woman 
suddenly fell sick, and could not go on board. In this 
unpleasant emergency no one knew how to act. The 
ship was at the very point of sailing, and it was the last 
which was to sail for the seasoa At length the captain, 
who was known to my friends, prevailed upon my relation, 
who had come with us to see us embark, to leave the 
young woman on shore, and to let me embark separately. 
There was no possibility of getting any other female 
attendant for me in the short time allotted for our pre- 
paration ; and the opportunity of going by that ship was 
thought too valuable to be lost. No other ladies happened 
to be going, and so I was consigned to the care of the 
captain and his crew — rough and unaccustomed attendants 
for a young creature delicately brought up as I had been; 
but indeed they did their best to make me not feel the 
diflference. The unpolished saQors were my nursery-maids 
and my waiting-women. Everything was done by the 
captain and the men to accommodate me, and make me 
easy. I had a little room made out of the cabin, which 
was to be considered as my room, and nobody might 
enter into it. The first mate had a great character for 
bravery and all sailor-like accomplishments; but with 
all this he had a gentleness of manners, and a pale 
feminine cast of face, from iU health and a weakly con- 


stitutioD, which subjected him to some ridicule from the 
officers, and caused him to be named Betsy. He did 
not much like the appellation, but he submitted to it 
the better, saying that those who gave him a woman's 
name well knew that he had a man's heart, and that in 
the face of danger he would go as far as any man. To 
this young man, whose real name was Charles Atkinson, 
by a lucky thought of the captain, the care of me was 
especially intrusted. Betsy was proud of his charge, 
and, to do him justice, acquitted himself with great 
diligence and adroitness through the whole of the voyage. 
From the beginning I had somehow looked upon Betsy 
as a woman, hearing him so spoken of, and this reconciled 
me in some measure to the want of a maid which I had 
been used to. But I was a manageable girl at all times, 
and gave nobody much trouble. 

I have not knowledge enough to give an account of 
my voyage, or to remember the names of the seas we 
passed through, or the lands which we touched upon in 
our course. The chief thing I can remember (for I do 
not recollect the events of the voyage in any order) was 
Atkinson taking me upon deck to see the great whales 
playing about in the sea. There was one great whale 
came bounding up out of the sea, and then he would 
dive into it again, and then would come up at a distance 
where nobody expected him, and another whale was 
following after him. Atkinson said they were at play, 
and that the lesser whale loved that bigger whale, and 
kept it company all through the wide seas; but I 
thought it strange play, and a frightfcd kind of love ; for 
I every minute expected they would come up to our ship 
and toss it. But Atkinson said a whale was a gentle 
creature, and it was a sort of searclephant, and that the 
most powerful creatures in nature are always the least 
hurtful. And he told me how men went out to take 
these whales, and stuck long pointed darts into them ; 
and how the sea was discoloured with the blood of these 
poor whales for many miles' distance ; and I admired 

84 MRS. Leicester's school. 

the courage of the men, but I was sorry for the inoffen- 
Bive whale. Many other pretty sights he used to show 
me, when he was not on watch, or doing some duty for 
the ship. No one was more attentive to his duty than 
he ; but at such times as he had leisure he would show 
me all pretty searsights: — the dolphins and porpoises 
that came before a storm, and all the colours which the 
sea changed to; how sometimes it was a deep blue 
and then a deep green, and sometimes it would seem all 
on fire; all these various appearances he would show 
me, and attempt to explain the reason of them to me, as 
well as my young capacity would admit of. There were 
a lion and a tiger on board, going to England as a 
present to the king; and it was a great diversion to 
Atkinson and me, after I got rid of my first terrors, 
to see the ways of these beasts in their dens, aud how 
venturous the sailors were in putting their hands through 
the grates, and patting their rough coats. Some of the 
men had monkeys, which ran loose about, and the sport 
was for the men to lose them and find them again. The 
monkeys would run up the shrouds, and pass from rope 
to rope, with ten times greater alacrity than the most 
experienced sailor could follow them; and sometimes 
they would hide themselves in the most unthought-of 
places, and when they were found, they would grin and 
make mouths, as if they had sense. Atkinson described 
to me the ways of these little animals in their native 
woods, for he had seen them. Oh, how many ways he 
thought of to amuse me in that long voyage ! 

Sometimes he would describe to me the odd shapes 
and varieties of fishes that were in the sea, and tell me 
tales of the sea-monsters that lay hid at the bottom, and 
were seldom seen by men ; and what a glorious sight it 
would be, if our eyes could be sharpened to behold all 
the inhabitants of the sea at once swimming in the great 
deeps, as plain as we see the gold and silver fish in a 
bowl of glass. With such notions he enlarged my infant 
capacity to take in many things. 


When in foul weather I have been terrified at the 
motion of the vessel, aa it rocked backwards and for- 
wards, he would still my fears, and tell me that I used 
to be rocked so once in a cradle, and that the sea was 
God's bed, and the ship our cradle, and we were as safe 
in that greater motion as when we felt that lesser one in 
our little wooden sleeping-places. When the wind was 
up, and sang through the sails, and disturbed me with 
its violent clamours, he would call it music, and bid me 
hark to the seaorgan, and with that name he quieted 
my tender apprehensions. When I have looked around 
with a mournful face at seeing all men about me, he 
would enter into my thoughts, and tell me pretty stories 
of his mother and his sisters, and a female cousin that 
he loved better than his sisters, whom he called Jenny, 
and say that when we got to England I should go and 
see them, and how fond Jenny would be of his little 
daughter, as he called me; and with these images of 
women and females, which he raised in my fancy, he 
quieted me for a while. One time, and never but once, 
he told me that Jenny had promised to be his wife if 
ever he came to England, but that he had his doubts 
whether he should live to get home, for he was very 
sickly. This made me cry bitterly. 
. That I dwell so long upon the attention of this 
Atkinson, is only because his death, which happened 
just before we got to England, affected me so much, 
that he alone of aU the ship's crew has engrossed my 
mind ever since; though indeed the captain and aU 
were singularly Idnd to me, and strove to make up for 
my uneasy and unnatural situation. The boatswain would 
pipe for my diversion, and the sailor-boy would climb 
the dangerous mast for my sport. The rough foremast- 
man would never willingly appear before me till he had 
combed his long black hair smooth and sleek, not to 
terrify me. The oflficers got up a sort of play for my 
amusement, and Atkinson, or, as they called him, Betsy, 
acted the heroine of the piece. All ways that could 


be contrived were thought upon to reconcile me to my 
lot. I was the universal favourite ; I do not know how 
deservedly; but I suppose it was because I was alone, 
and there was no female in the ship besides me. Had 
I come over with female relations or attendants, I should 
have excited no particular curiosity; I should have re- 
quired no uncommon attentions. I was one little woman 
among a crew of men ; and I believe the homage which 
I have read that men universally pay to women, was in 
this case directed to me in the absence of all other women- 
kind. I do not know how that might be, but I was a little 
princess among them, and I was not six years old. 

I remember the first drawback which happened to my 
comfort was Atkinson's not appearing the whole of one 
day. The captain tried to reconcile me to it by saying 
that Mr. Atkinson was confined to his cabin; that he 
was not quite well, but a day or two would restore him. 
I begged to be taken in to see him, but this was not 
granted. A day, and then another came, and another, 
and no Atkinson was visible, and I saw apparent solicir 
tude in the faces of all the officers, who nevertheless 
strove to put on their best countenances before me, and 
to be more than usually kind to me. At length, by the 
desire of Atkinson himself, as I have since learned, I was 
permitted to go into his cabin and see him. He was 
sitting up, apparently in a state of great exhaustion ; but 
his fjBice lighted up when he saw me, and he kissed me 
and told me that he was going a great voyage, far longer 
than that which we had passed together, and he should 
never come back ; and though I was so young, I under- 
stood well enough that he meant this of his death, and I 
cried sadly ; but he comforted me, and told me that I 
must be' his little executrix, and perform his last will, and 
bear his last words to his mother and his sisters, and to 
his cousin Jenny, whom I should see in a short time; 
and he gave me his blessing, as a father would bless his 
child, and he sent a last kiss by me to all his female 
relations, and he made me promise that I would go and 

♦the sea-voyagk 87 

see them when I got to England. And soon after this he 
died. But I was in another part of the ship when he 
died, and I was not told it till we got to shore, which 
was a few days after ; but they kept telling me that he 
was better and better, and that I should soon see him, 
but that it disturbed him to talk with any one. Oh, 
what a grief it was when I learned that I had lost an old 
shipmate that had made an irksome situation so bearable 
by his kind assiduities ; and to think that he was gone, 
and I could never repay him for his kindness ! 

When I had been a year and a half in England, the 
captain, who had made another voyage to India and 
back, thinking that time had alleviated a little the 
sorrow of Atkinson's relations, prevailed upon my friends 
who had the care of me in England to let him introduce 
me to Atkinson's mother and sisters. Jenny was no 
more ; she had died in the interval, and I never saw her. 
Grief for his death had brought on a consumption, of 
which she lingered about a twelvemonth and then expired. 
But in the mother and the sisters of this excellent young 
man I have found the most valuable friends I possess 
on this side the great ocean. They received me from 
the captain as the little protegee of Atkinson, and from 
them I have learned passages of his former life ; and this 
in particular, that the illness of which he died was brought 
on by a wound of which he never quite recovered, which 
he got in the desperate attempt, when he was quite a 
boy, to defend his captain against a superior force of the 
enemy which had boarded him, and which, by his pre- 
mature valour inspiriting the men, they finally succeeded 
in repulsing. This was that Atkinson who, from his 
pale and feminine appearance, was called Betsy; this 
was he whose womanly care of me got him the name of 
a woman ; who, with more than female attention, conde- 
scended to play the handmaid to a little unaccompanied 
orphan that fortune had cast upon the care of a rough 
sea-captain and his rougher crew. 


This work is designed as a supplement to the Advenr 
tares of Telemachua. It treats of the conduct and 
Bufferings of Ulysses, the father of Telemachus. The 
picture which it exhibits is that of a brave man strug- 
gling with adversity ; by a wise use of events, and- with 
an inimitable presence of mind under difficulties, forcing 
out a way for himself through the severest trials to which 
human life can be exposed; with enemies natural and 
preternatural surrounding him on all sides. The agents 
in this tale, besides men and women, are giants, en- 
chanters, sirens : things which denote external force or 
internal temptations, the twofold danger which a wise 
fortitude must expect to encounter in its course through 
this world. The fictions contained in it will be found to 
comprehend some of the most admired inventions of 
Grecian mythology. 

The groundwork of the story is as old as the Odyssey^ 
but the moral and the colouring are comparatively modem. 
By avoiding the prolixity which marks the speeches and 
the descriptions in Horner^ I have gained a rapidity to 
the narration which I hope will make it more attractive 
and give it more the air of a romance to young readers, 
though I am sensible that by the curtailment I have 
sacrificed in many places the manners to the passion, the 
subordinate characteristics to the essential interest of the 
story. The attempt is not to be considered as seeking a 
comparison with any of the direct translations of the 
Odyssey, either in prose or verse, though if I were to 


state the obligations which I have had to one obsolete 
version,^ I should have run the hazard of depriving my- 
self of the very slender degree of reputation which I 
could hope to acquire from a trifle like the present under- 

Chapter L 

The Cicons — The frnit of the lotos -tree — Polyphemus and the 
Cyclops — The kingdom of the winds, and God jfiolus's fatal 
present — The LaBstrygonian man-eaters. 

This history tells of the wanderings of Ulysses and his 
followers in their return from Troy, after the destruction 
of that famous city of Asia by the Grecians. He was 
inflamed with a desire of seeing again, after a ten years' 
absence, his wife and native country Ithaca. He was 
king of a barren spot, and a poor country, in comparison 
of the fruitful plains of Asia which he was leaving, or 
the wealthy kingdoms which he touched upon in his re- 
turn ; yet wherever he came, he could never see a soil 
which appeared in his eyes half so sweet or desirable as 
his country earth. This made him refuse the offers of 
the goddess Calypso to stay with her, and partake of her 
unmortality, in the delightful island : and this gave him 
strength to break from the enchantments of Circe, the 
daughter of the Sun. 

From Troy ill winds cast Ulysses and his fleet upon 
the coast of the Cicons, a people hostile to the Grecians. 
Landing his forces, he laid siege to their chief city Ismarus, 
which he took, and with it much spoil, and slew many 
people. But success proved fatal to him ; for his soldiers, 
elated with the spoil and the good store of provisions 
which they found in that place, fell to eating and drink- 
ing, forgetful of their safety, till the Cicons, who inhabited 
the coast, had time to assemble their friends and allies 
from the interior, who mustering in prodigious force, set 

^ The translation of Homer by Chapman in the reign of James I. 


upon the Grecians, while they negligently revelled and 
feasted, and slew many of them and recovered the spoil. 
They, dispirited and thinned in their numbers, with 
difficulty made their retreat good to the ships. 

Thence they set sail, sad at heart, yet something 
cheered that with such fearful odds against them they 
had not all been utterly destroyed. A dreadful tempest 
ensued, which for two nights and two days tossed them 
about, but the third day the weather cleared, and they 
had hopes of a favourable gale to carry them to Ithaca ; 
but as they doubled the Cape of Malea, suddenly a north 
wind arising, drove them back as far as Oythera. After 
that, for the space of nine days, contrary winds continued 
to drive them in an opposite direction to the point to 
which they were bound, and the tenth day they put in 
at a shore where a race of men dwell that are sustained 
by the fruit of the lotos-tree. Here Ulysses sent some 
of his men to land for fresh water, who were met by 
certain of the inhabitants, that gave them some of their 
country food to eat ; not with any ill intention towards 
them, though in the event it proved pernicious ; for, 
having eaten of this fruit, so pleasant it proved to their 
appetite, that they in a minute quite forgot all thoughts 
of home, or of their countrymen, or of ever returning 
back to the ships to give an account of what sort of in- 
habitants dwelt there, but they would needs stay and 
live there among them, and eat of that precious food for 
ever ; and when Ulysses sent other of his men to look 
for them, and to bring them back by force, they strove, 
and wept, and would not leave their food for heaven 
itself, so much the pleasure of that enchanting fruit had 
bewitched them. But Ulysses caused them to be bound 
hand and foot, and cast under the hatches ; and set sail 
with all possible speed from that baneful coast, lest others 
after them might taste the lotos, which had such strange 
qualities to make men forget their native country and 
the thoughts of home. 

Coasting on all that night by unknown and out of the 


way shores, they came by day-break to the land where 
the Cyclops dwell, a sort of giant shepherds that neither 
sow nor plough, but the earth untilled produces for them 
rich wheat and barley and grapes, yet they have neither 
bread nor wine, nor know the arts of cultivation, nor 
care to know them ; for they live each man to himself 
without laws or government, or anything like a state or 
kingdom, bui; their dwellings are in caves, on the steep 
heads of mountains, every man's household governed by 
his own caprice, or not governed at all, their wives and 
children as lawless as themselves, none caring for others, 
but each doing a& he or she thinks good. Ships or boats 
they have none, nor artificers to make them, no trade or 
commerce, or wish to visit other shores ; yet they have 
convenient places for harbours and for shipping. Here 
Ulysses with a chosen party of twelve followers landed, 
to explore what sort of men dwelt there, whether hos- 
pitable and friendly to strangers, or altogether wild and 
savage, for as yet no dwellers appeared in sight. 

The first sign of habitation which they came to was a 
giant's cave rudely fashioned, but of a size which be- 
tokened the vast proportions of its owner, the pillars 
which supported it being the bodies of huge oaks or pines, 
in the natural state of the tree, and all about showed 
more marks of strength than sMll in whoever built it. 
Ulysses, entering in, admired the savage contrivances and 
artless structure of the place, and longed to see the tenant 
of so outlandish a mansion ; but well conjecturing that 
gifts would have more avail in extracting courtesy than 
strength could succeed in forcing it, from such a one a& 
he expected to find the inhabitant, he resolved to flatter 
his hospitality with a present of Greek wine, of which he 
had store in twelve great vessels ; so strong that no one 
ever drank it without an infusion of twenty parts of water 
to one of wine, yet the fragrance of it even then so 
delicious, that it would have vexed a man who smeUed 
it to abstain from tasting it ; but whoever tasted it, it 
was able to raise his courage to the height of heroic deeds. 


Taking with them a goatakin flagon full of this precious 
liquor, they ventured into the recesses of the cave. Here 
they pleased themselves a whole day with beholding the 
giant's kitchen, where the flesh of sheep and goats lay 
strewed, his dairy where goat-milk stood ranged in troughs 
and pails, his pens where he kept his live animals ; but 
those he had driven forth to pasture with him when he 
went out in the morning. While they were feasting 
their eyes with a sight of these curiosities, their ears were 
suddenly deafened with a noise like the felling of a house. 
It was the owner of the cave who had been abroad all 
day feeding his flock, as his custom was, in the mountains, 
and now drove them home in the evening from pasture. 
He threw down a pile of fire-wood, which he had been 
gathering against supper-time, before the mouth of the 
cave, which occasioned the crash they heard. The 
Grecians hid themselves in the remote parts of the cave, 
at sight of the uncouth monster. It was Polyphemus, 
the largest and savagest of the Cyclops, who boasted him- 
self to be the son of Neptune. He looked more like a 
mountain crag than a man, and to his brutal body he had 
a brutish mind answerable. He drove his flock, all that 
gave milk, to the interior of the cave, but left the rams 
and the he-goats without. Then taking up a stone so 
massy that twenty oxen could not have drawn it, he 
placed it at the mouth of the cave, to defend the entrance, 
and sat him down to milk his ewes and his goats ; which 
done, he lastly kindled a fire, and throwing his great eye 
round the cave (for the Cyclops have no more than one 
eye, and that placed in the midst of their forehead), 
by the glimmering light he discerned some of Ulysses' 

" Ho, guests, what are you ? merchants or wandering 
thieves 1 " he bellowed out in a voice which took from 
them all power of reply, it was so astounding. 

Only Ulysses summoned resolution to answer, that 
they came neither for plunder nor traffic, but were 
Grecians who had lost their way, returning from Troy ; 


which famonB city, under the conduct of Agamemnon, the 
renowned son of Atreus, they had sacked, and laid level 
with the ground. Yet now they prostrated themselves 
humbly before his feet, whom they acknowledged to be 
mightier than they, and besought him that he would 
bestow the rites of hospitality upon them, for that Jove 
was the avenger of wrongs done to strangers, and would 
fiercely resent any injury which they might suffer. 

" Fool," said the Cyclop, " to come so fer to preach to 
me the fear of the gods. We Cyclops care not for your 
Jove, whom you fable to be nursed by a goat, nor any of 
your blessed ones. We are stronger than they, and dare 
bid open battle to Jove himself, though you and all your 
fellows of the earth join with him." And he bade them 
tell him where their ship was, in which they came, and 
whether they had any companions. But Ulysses, with a 
wise caution, made answer, that they had no ship or com- 
panions, but were unfortunate men whom the sea, splitting 
their ship in pieces, had dashed upon his coast, and they 
alone had escaped. He replied nothing, but gripping two 
of the nearest of them, as if they had been no more than 
children, he dashed their brains out against the earth, and 
(shocking to relate) tore in pieces their limbs, and devoured 
them, yet warm and trembling, making a lion's meal of 
them, lapping the blood : for the Cyclops are man-eaters, 
and esteem human flesh to be a delicacy far above goat's 
or kid's; though by reason of their abhorred customs 
few men approach their coast except some stragglers, or 
now and then a shipwrecked mariner. At a sight so 
horrid Ulysses and his men were like distracted peopla 
He, when he had made an end of his wicked supper, 
drained a draught of goat's milk down his prodigious 
throat, and lay down and slept among his goats. Then 
Ulysses drew his sword, and half resolved to thrust it 
with aU his might in at the bosom of the sleeping monster ; 
but wiser thoughts restrained him, else they had there 
without help all perished, for none but Polyphemus him- 
self could have removed that mass of stone which he had 


placed to guard the entrance. So they were constrained 
to abide all that night in fear. 

When day came the Cyclop awoke, and kindling a 
fire, made his breakfast of two other of his unfortunate 
prisoners, then milked his goats ^ he was accustomed, 
and pushing aside the vast stone, and shutting it again 
when he had done, upon the prisoners, with as much ease 
as a man opens and shuts a quiv^er's lid, he let out his 
flock, and drove them before him with whistlings (as 
sharp as winds in storms) to the mountains. 

Then Ulysses, of whose strength or cunning the Cyclop 
seems to have had as little heed as of an infant's, being 
left alone, with the remnant of his men which the Cyclop 
had not devoured, gave manifest proof how far manly 
wisdom excels brutish forces He chose a stake from 
among the wood which the Cyclop had piled up for 
firing, in length and thickness like a mast, which he 
sharpened and hardened in the fire, and selected four 
men, and instructed them what they should do with this 
stake, and made them perfect in their parts. 

When the evening was come, the Cyclop drove home 
his sheep ; and as fortune directed it, either of purpose, 
or that his memory was overruled by the gods to his hurt 
(as in the issue it proved), he drove the males of his flock, 
contrary to his custom, along with the dams into the 
pens. Then shutting-to the stone of the cave, he fell to 
his horrible supper. When he had despatched two more 
of the Grecians, Ulysses waxed bold with the contempla- 
tion of his project, and took a bowl of Greek wine, and 
merrily dared the Cyclop to drink. 

" Cyclop," he said, " take a bowl of wine from the 
hand of your guest ; it may serve to digest the man's 
flesh that you have eaten, and show what drink our ship 
held before it went down. All I ask in recompense, if 
you find it good, is to be dismissed in a whole skin. 
Truly you must look to have few visitors, if you observe 
this new custom of eating your guests.'' 

The brute took and drank, and vehemently eigoyed 


the taste of wine, which was new to him, and swilled 
again at the flagon, and entreated for more, and prayed 
Ulysses to tell him his name, that he might bestow a 
gift upon the man who had given him such brave liquor. 
The Cyclops (he said) bad grapes, but this rich juice (he 
swore) was simply divine. Again Ulysses plied him with 
the wine, and the fool drank it as fast as he poured out, 
and again he asked the name of his benefactor, which 
Ulysses cunningly dissembling, said : " My name is No- 
man ; my kindred and friends in my own country caU 
me Noman." "Then," said the Cyclop, "this is the 
kindness I will show thee, Noman ; I will eat thee last 
of aU thy friends." He had scarce expressed his savage 
kindness when the fumes of the strong wine overcame 
him, and he reeled down upon the floor and sank into a 
dead sleep. 

Ulysses watched his time, while the monster lay in- 
sensible, and heartening up his men, they placed the sharp 
end of the stake in the fire till it was heated red-hot, and 
some god gave them a coun^e beyond that which they 
were used to have, and the four men with difficulty bored 
the sharp end of the huge stake, which they had heated 
red-hot, right into the eye of the drunken cannibal, and 
Ulysses helped to thrust it in with all his might, still 
farther and farther, with effort, as men bore with an 
augur, till the scalded blood gushed out, and the eye-ball 
smoked, and the strings of the eye cracked, as the burn- 
ing rafter broke in it, and the eye hissed, as hot iron 
hisses when it is plimged into water. 

He waking, roared with the pain so loud that all the 
cavern broke into claps like thunder. They fled, and 
dispersed into comers. He plucked the burning stake 
from his eye, and hurled the wood madly about the cave. 
Then he cried out with a mighty voice for his brethren 
the Cyclops, that dwelt hard by in caverns upon lulls ; 
they hearing the terrible shout came flocking from all 
parts to inquire what ailed Polyphemus ? and what cause 
he had for making such horrid clamours in the night-time 


to break their sleeps 1 if his Mght proceeded from any 
mortal? if strength or craft had given him his death's 
blow ? He made answer from within that Noman had 
hurt him, Noman had killed him, Noman was with him 
in the cave. They replied, "If no man has hurt thee, 
and no man is with thee, then thou art alone, and the 
evil that afflicts thee is from the hand of heaven, which 
none can resist or help.'' So they left him and went 
their way, thinking that some disease troubled him. He, 
blind and ready to split with the anguish of the pain, 
went groaning up and down in the dark, to find the door- 
way, which when he found, he removed the stone, and 
sat in the threshold, feeling if he could lay hold on any 
man going out with the sheep, which (the day now 
breaking) were beginning to issue forth to their accus- 
tomed pastures. But Ulysses, whose first artifice in 
giving himself that ambiguous name, had succeeded so 
well with the Cyclop, was not of a wit so gross to be 
caught by that palpable device. But casting about in 
his mind all the ways which he could contrive for escape 
(no less than aJl their lives depending on the success), 
at last he thought of this expedient. He made knots of 
the osier twigs upon which the Cyclop commonly slept, 
with which he tied the fattest and fleeciest of the rams 
together, three in a rank, and under the belly of the 
middle ram he tied a man, and himself last, wrapping 
himself fast with both his hands in the rich wool of one, 
the fairest of the flock. 

And now the sheep began to issue forth very fast ; 
the males went first, the females unmilked stood by, 
bleating and requiring the hand of their shepherd in vain 
to milk them, their full bags sore with being unemptied, 
but he much sorer with the loss of sight. Still as the 
males passed, he felt the backs of those fleecy fools, never 
dreaming that they carried his enemies under their bellies : 
so they passed on till the last ram came loaded with his 
wool and Ulysses together. He stopped that ram and 
felt him, and had his hand once in the hair of Ulysses, 



yet knew it not, and he chid the ram for being last, and 
spoke to it as if it understood him, and asked it whether 
it did not wish that its master had his eye again, which 
that abominable Neman with his execrable rout had put 
out, when they had got him down with wine; and he 
willed the ram to tell him whereabouts in the cave his 
enemy lurked, that he might dash his brains and strew 
them about, to ease his heart of that tormenting revenge 
which rankled in it. After a deal of such foolish talk to 
the beast he let it go. 

When Ulysses found himself free, he let go his hold, 
and assisted in disengaging his friends. The rams which 
had befriended them they carried off with them to the 
ships, where their companions with tears in their eyes 
received them, as men escaped from death. They plied 
their oars, and set their sails, and when they were got as 
far off from shore as a voice would reach, Ulysses cried 
out to the Cyclop : " Cyclop, thou should'st not have so 
much abused thy monstrous strength, as to devour thy 
guests. Jove by my hand sends thee requital to pay thy 
savage inhumanity." The Cyclop heard, and came forth 
enraged, and in his anger he plucked a fragment of a 
rock, and threw it with blind fiiry at the ships : it nar- 
rowly escaped lighting upon the bark in which Ulysses 
sat, but with the fall it raised so fierce an ebb, as bore 
back the ship till it ahnost touched the shore. " Cyclop," 
said Ulysses, " if any ask thee who imposed on thee that 
unsightly blemish in thine eye, say it was Ulysses, son of 
Laertes : the king of Ithaca am I called, the waster of 
cities." Then they crowded sail, and beat the old sea, 
and forth they went with a forward gale ; sad for fore- 
past losses, yet glad to have escaped at any rate; till 
they came to the isle where -^olus reigned, who is god 
of the winds. 

Here Ulysses and his men were courteously received 
by the monarch, who showed him his twelve children 
which have rule over the twelve winds. A month they 
stayed and feasted with him, and at the end of the month 


he dismissed them with many presents, and gave to 
Ulysses at parting an ox's hide, in which were enclosed 
all the winds : only he left abroad the western wind, to 
play upon their sails and waft them gently home to 
Ithaca. This bag, bound in a glittering silver band, so 
close that no breath could escape, Ulysses hung up at 
the mast. His companions did not know its contents, 
but guessed that the monarch had given to him some 
treasures of gold or silver. 

Nine days they sailed smoothly, favoured by the 
western wind, and by the tenth they approached so nigh 
as to discern lights kindled on the shores of their country 
earth; when, by ill fortune, Ulysses, overcome with 
fatigue of watching the helm, fell asleep. The mariners 
seized the opportunity, and one of them said to the rest : 
" A fine time has this leader of ours : wherever he goes 
he is sure of presents, when we come away empty-handed ; 
and see, what king ^olus has given him, store no doubt 
of gold and silver.'' A word was enough to those covetous 
wretches, who quick as thought untied the bag, and in- 
stead of gold, out rushed with mighty noise aU the winds. 
Ulysses with the noise awoke and saw their mistake, 
but too late, for the ship was driving with aU the winds 
back far from Ithaca, far as to the island of jEoIus from 
which they had parted, in one hour measuring back what 
in nine days they had scarcely tracked, and in sight of 
home too ! Up he flew amazed, and raving doubted 
whether he should not fling himself into the sea for grief 
of his bitter disappointment. At last he hid himself 
under the hatches for shame. And scarce could he be 
prevailed upon, when he was told he was arrived again 
in the harbour of king ^olus, to go himself or send to 
that monarch for a second succour ; so much the disgrace 
of having misused his royal bounty (though it was the 
crime of his followers and not his own) weighed upon 
him : and when at last he went, and took a herald with 
him, and came where the god sat on his throne, feasting 
with his children, he would not trust in among them at 


their meat, but set himself down like one unworthy in 
the threshold. 

Indignation seized jEoIus to behold him in that 
manner returned ; and he said : " Ulysses, what has 
brought you back ? are you so soon tired of your coimtry 1 
or did not oiu: present please you ? we thought we had 
given you a kingly passport." Ulysses made answer: 
" My men have done this ill mischief to me : they did it 
while I slept." "Wretch," said ^olus, "avaunt, and 
quit our shores : it fits not us to convoy men whom the 
gods hate, and will have perish." 

Forth they sailed, but with far different hopes than 
when they left the same harbour the first time with all 
the winds confined, only the west-wind suffered to play 
upon their sails to waft them in gentle murmurs to 
Ithaca. They were now the sport of every gale that 
blew, and despaired of ever seeing home more. Now 
those covetous mariners were cured of their surfeit for 
gold, and would not have touched it if it had lain in xm- 
told heaps before them. 

Six days and nights they drove along, and on the 
seventh day they put in to Lamos, a port of the Lsestry- 
gonians. So spacious this harbour was, that it held with 
ease all their fleet, which rode at anchor, safe from any 
storms, all but the ship in which Ulysses was embarked. 
He, as if prophetic of the mischance which followed, kept 
still without the harbour, making fast his bark to a rock 
at the land's point, which he climbed with purpose to 
survey the country. He saw a city with smoke ascending 
firom the roofs, but neither ploughs going, nor oxen yoked, 
nor any sign of agricultural works. Making choice of 
two men, he sent them to the city to explore what sort 
of inhabitants dwelt there. His messengers had not gone 
far before they met a damsel, of stature surpassing human, 
who was coming to draw water from a spring. They 
asked her who dwelt in that land. She made no reply, 
but led them in silence to her father's palace. He was 
a monarch and named Antiphas. He and all his people 


were giants. When they entered the palace, a woman, 
the mother of the damsel, but far taller than she, rushed 
abroad and called for Antiphas. He came, and snatching 
up one of the two men, made as if he would devour him. 
The other fled. Antiphas raised a mighty shout, and 
instantly, this way and that, multitudes of gigantic people 
issued out at the gates, and making for the harbour, tore 
up huge pieces of the rocks, and flung them at the ships 
which lay there, all which they utterly overwhelmed and 
sank ; and the imfortunate bodies of men which floated, 
and which the sea did not devour, these cannibals thrust 
through with harpoons, like fishes, and bore them off to 
their dire feast Ulysses with his single bark that had 
never entered the harbour escaped ; that bark which was 
now the only vessel left of all the gallant navy that had 
set sail with him from Troy. He pushed off from the 
shore, cheering the sad remnant of his men, whom^ horror 
at the sight of their countrymen's fate had almost turned 
to marble. 

Chapter IL 

The house of Circe — Men changed into beasts — ^The voyage to hell 

— ^The banquet of the dead. 

On went the single ship till it came to the island of ^ea, 
where Circe the dreadful daughter of the Sun dwelt. 
She was deeply skilled in magic, a haughty beauty, and 
had hair like the Sun. The Sun was her parent, and 
begot her and her brother Metes (such another as her- 
self) upon Perse, daughter to Oceanus. 

Here a dispute arose among Ulysses' men, which of 
them should go ashore and explore the country ; for there 
was a necessity that some should go to procure water and 
provisions, their stock of both being nigh spent: but 
their hearts failed them when they called to mind the 
shocking fate of their fellows whom the LsBstrygonians 
had eaten, and those which the foul Cyclop Polyphemus 


had crashed between his jaws; which moved them so 
tenderly in the recollection that they wept. But tears 
never yet supplied any man's wants ; this Ulysses knew 
full well, and dividing his men (all that were left) into 
two companies, at the head of one of which was himself, 
and at the head of the other Eurylochus, a man of tried 
courage, he cast lots which of them should go up into the 
country, and the lot fell upon Eurylochus and his com- 
pany, two and twenty in number ; who took their leave, 
with tears, of Ulysses and his men that stayed, whose 
eyes wore the same wet badges of weak humanity, for they 
surely thought never to see these their companions again, 
but that on every coast where they should come, they 
should find nothing but savages and cannibals. 

Eurylochus and his party proceeded up the country, 
till in a dale they descried the house of Circe, built of 
bright stone, by the road's side. Before her gate lay 
many beasts, as wolves, lions, leopards, which, by her art, 
of wild she had rendered tame. These arose when they 
saw strangers, and ramped upon their hinder paws, and 
&wned upon Eurylochus and his men, who dreaded the 
effects of such monstrous kindness; and staying at the 
gate they heard the enchantress within, sitting at her 
loom, singiag such strains as suspended all mortal faculties, 
while she wove a web, subtle and glorious, and of texture 
inimitable on earth, as all the housewiferies of the deities 
are. Strains so ravishingly sweet, provoked even the 
sagest and prudentest heads among the party to knock 
and call at the gate. The shining gate the enchantress 
opened, and bade them come in and feast. They unwise 
followed, all but Eurylochus, who stayed without the 
gate, suspicious that some train was laid for them. Being 
ent^d, she placed them in chairs of state, and set before 
them meal and honey, and Smyrna wine ; but mixed with 
baneful drugs of powerful enchantment. When they had 
eaten of these, and drunk of her cup, she touched them 
with her charming-rod, and straight they were transformed 
into swine, having the bodies of swine, the bristles, and 


snout, and grunting noise of that animal ; only they 
still retained the minds of men, which made them the 
more to lament their brutish transformation. Haying 
changed them, she shut them up in her sty with many 
more whom her wicked sorceries had formerly changed, 
and gave them swine's food, mast, and acorns, and chest- 
nuts, to eat. 

Euiylochus, who beheld nothing of these sad changes 
from where he was stationed without the gate, only 
instead of his companions that entered (who he thought 
had all vanished by witchcraft) beheld a herd of swine, 
hurried back to the ship, to give an account of what he 
had seen : but so frightened and perplexed, that he could 
give no distinct report of anything, only he remembered 
a palace, and a woman singing at her work, and gates 
guarded by lions. But his companions, he said, were all 

Then Ulysses suspecting some foid witchcraft, snatched 
his sword, and his bow, and commanded Eurylochus in- 
stantly to lead him to the place. But Eurylochus fell 
down, and embracing his knees, besought him by the 
name of a man whom the gods had in their protection, 
not to expose his safety, and the safety of them aU, to 
certain destruction. 

" Do thou then stay, Eurylochus !" answered Ulysses : 
'^ eat thou and drink in the ship in safety ; while I go 
alone upon this adventure : necessity, from whose law is 
no appeal, compels me." 

So saying he quitted the ship and went on shore, 
accompanied by none ; none had the hardihood to ojQfer to 
partake that perilous adventure with him, so much they 
dreaded the enchantments of the witch. Singly he pur- 
sued his journey till he came to the shining gates which 
stood before her mansion : but when he essayed to put 
his foot over her threshold, he was suddenly stopped by 
the apparition of a young man, bearing a golden rod in 
his hand, who was the god Mercury. He held Ulysses 
by the wrist, to stay his entrance; and " Whither wouldest 


thou go V he said ; " 0, thou most erring of the sons of 
men ! knowest thou not that this is the house of great 
Circe, where she keeps thy friends in a loathsome sty, 
changed from the fair forms of men into the detestable 
and ugly shapes of swine? art thou prepared to share 
their fate, from which nothing can ransom thee V But 
neither his words, nor his coming from heaven, could stop 
the daring foot of Ulysses, whom compassion for the mis- 
fortune of his friends had rendered careless of danger : 
which when the god perceived, he had pity to see valour 
so misplaced, and gave him the flower of the herb moly, 
which is sovereign against enchantments. The moly is a 
small unsightly root, its virtues but little known, and in 
low estimation ; the dull shepherd treads on it every day 
with his clouted shoes ; but it bears a small white flower, 
which is medicinal against charms, blights, mildews, and 
damps. — " Take this in thy hand," said Mercury, " and 
with it boldly enter her gates : when she shall strike thee 
with her rod, thinking to change thee, as she has changed 
thy friends, boldly rush in upon her with thy sword, and 
extort from her the dreadful oath of the gods, that she 
will use no enchantments against thee : then force her to 
restore thy abused companions." He gave Ulysses the 
little white flower, and instructing him how to use it, 

When the god was departed, Ulysses with loud knock- 
ings beat at the gate of the palace. The shining gates 
were opened, as before, and great Circe with hospitable 
cheer invited in her guest. She placed him on a throne 
with more distinction than she had used to his fellows, 
she mingled wine in a costly bowl, and he drank of it, 
mixed with those poisonous drugs. When he had drunk, 
she struck him with her charming-rod, and "To your 
sty," she cried; "out, swine; mingle with your com- 
panions." But those powerful words were not proof 
against the preservative which Mercury had given to 
Ulysses ; he remained unchanged, and as the god had 
directed him, boldly charged the witch with his sword, 


as if he meant to take her life : which when she saw, 
and perceived that her charms were weak against the 
antidote which Ulysses bore about him, she cried out and 
bent her knees beneath his sword, embracing his, and 
said, " Who or what manner of man art thou ? Never 
drank any man before thee of this cup, but he repented 
it in some brute's form. Thy shape remains unaltered as 
thy mind. Thou canst be none other than Ulysses, 
renowned above all the world for wisdom, whom the fates 
have long since decreed that I must love. This haughty 
bosom bends to thee. Ithacan, a goddess woos thee 
to her bed." 

" Circe," he replied, " how canst thou treat of love 
or marriage with one whose friends thou hast turned into 
beasts ) and now offerest him thy hand in wedlock, only 
that thou mightest have him in thy power, to live the 
life of a beast with thee, naked, effeminate, subject to thy 
will, perhaps to be advanced in time to the honour of a 
place in thy sty. What pleasure canst thou promise, 
which may tempt the soul of a reasonable man? thy 
meats, spiced with poison ; or thy wines, drugged with 
death ? Thou must swear to me, that thou wilt never 
attempt against me the treasons which thou hast practised 
upon my friends." The enchantress, won by the terror 
of his threats, or by the violence of that new love which 
she felt kindling in her veins for him, swore by Styx, 
the great oath of the gods, that she meditated no injury 
to him. Then Ulysses made show of gentler treatment, 
which gave her hopes of inspiring him with a passion 
equal to that which she felt. She called her handmaids, 
four that served her in chief, who were daughters to her 
sUver fountains, to her sacred rivers, and to her conse- 
crated woods, to deck her apartments, to spread rich 
carpets, and set out her silver tables with dishes of the 
purest gold, and meat as precious as that which the gods 
eat, to entertain her guest. One brought water to wash 
his feet, and one brought wine to chase away, with a 
refreshing sweetness, the sorrows that had come of late 


SO thick upon him and hurt his noble mind. They 
strewed perfumes on his head, and after he had bathed 
in a bath of the choicest aromatics, they brought him 
rich and costly apparel to put on. Then he was con- 
ducted to a throne of massive silver, and a regale, fit for 
Jove when he banquets, was placed before Imn. But 
the feast which Ulysses desired was to see his friends 
(the partners of his voyage) once more in the shapes of 
men ; and the food which could give him nourishment 
must^ be taken in at his eyes. Because he missed this 
sight, he sat melancholy and thoughtful, and would taste 
of none of the rich delicacies placed before him. Which 
when Circe noted, she easily divined the cause of his 
sadness, and leaving the seat iu which she sat throned, 
went to her sty, and led abroad his men, who came in 
like swioe, and filled the ample hall, where Ulysses sat, 
with gruntings. Hardly had he time to let his sad eye 
run over their altered forms and brutal metamorphosis, 
when with an ointment which she smeared over them, 
suddenly their bristles fell off, and they started up in 
their own shapes men as before. They Imew their leader 
again, and dung about him with joy of their late restora- 
tion, and some shame for their late change ; and wept so 
loud, blubbering out their joy in broken accents, that the 
palace was filled with a sound of pleasing mourning, and 
the witch herself, great Circe, was not unmoved at the 
sight To make her atonement complete, she sent for 
the remnant of Ulysses' men who stayed behind at the 
ship, giving up their great commander for lost; who 
when they came, and saw him again alive, circled with 
their feUows, no expression can tell what joy they felt ; 
they even cried out with rapture, and to have seen their 
frantic expressions of mirth, a man might have supposed 
that they were just in sight of their country earth, the 
cliffs of rocky Ithaca. Only Eurylochus would hardly 
be persuaded to enter that palace of wonders, for he 
remembered with a kind of horror how his companions 
had vanished from his sight. 


Then great Circe spake, and gave order, that there 
should be no more sadness among them, nor remember- 
ing of past sufferings. For as yet they fared like men 
that are exiles from their country, and if a gleam of mirth 
shot among them, it was suddenly quenched with the 
thought of their helpless and homeless condition. Her 
kind persuasions wrought upon Ulysses and the rest, 
that they spent twelve months in all manner of delight 
with her in her palace. For Circe was a powerful 
magician, and could command the moon from her sphere, 
or unroot the solid oak from its place to make it dance 
for their diversion, and by the help of her illusions she 
could vary the taste of pleasures, and contrive delights, 
recreations, and jolly pastimes, to " fetch the day about 
from sun to sun, and rock the tedious year as in a 
delightful dream." 

At length Ulysses awoke from the trance of the 
faculties into which her charms had thrown him, and 
the thought of home returned with tenfold vigour to goad 
and sting him ; that home where he had left his virtuous 
wife Penelope, and his young son Telemachus. One day 
when Circe had been lavish of her caresses, and was in 
her kindest humour, he moved to her subtly, and as it 
were afar off, the question of his home-return ; to which 
she answered firmly, " Ulysses, it is not in my power to 
detain one whom the gods have destined to further trials. 
But leaving me, before you pursue your journey home, you 
must visit the house of Hades, or Death, to consult the 
shade of Tiresias the Theban prophet ; to whom alone, 
of all the dead, Proserpine, queen of hell, has committed 
the secret of friture events : it is he that must inform 
you whether you shall ever see again your wife and 
country." "0 Circe," he cried; "that is impossible: 
who shall steer my course to Pluto's kingdom ? Never ship 
had strength to make that voyage." " Seek no guide," 
she replied ; " but raise you your mast, and hoist your 
white sails, and sit in your ship in peace : the north wind 
shall waft you through the seas, tUl you shall cross the 


expanse of the ocean, and come to where grow the poplar 
groves, and willows pale, of Proserpine : where Pyriphle- 
gethon and Cocytus and Acheron mingle their waves. 
Cocytus is an arm of Styx, the forgetful river. Here dig 
a pit, and make it a cubit broad and a cubit long, and 
pour in Tnillr^ and honey, and wine, and the blood of a 
ram, and the blood of a black ewe, and turn away thy 
face while thou pourest in, and the dead shall come flock- 
ing to taste the milk and the blood j but sujffer none to 
approach thy offering tiU thou hast inquired of Tiresias 
aU which thou wishest to know." 

He did as great Circe had appointed. He raised his 
mast, and hoisted his white sails, and sat in his ship in 
peace. The north wind wafted him through the seas, 
tiU he crossed the ocean, and came to the sacred woods 
of Proserpine. He stood at the confluence of the three 
floods, and digged a pit, as she had given directions, and 
poured in his offering ; the blood of a ram, and the blood 
of a black ewe, milk, and honey, and wine ; and the dead 
came to his banquet : aged men, and women, and youths, 
and children who died in infancy. But none of them 
would he suffer to approach, and dip their thin lips in 
the offering, tiU Tiresias was served, not though his own 
mother was among the number, whom now for the first 
time he knew to be dead, for he had left her living when 
he went to Troy, and she had died since his departure, 
and the tidings never reached him : though it irked his 
soul to use constraint upon her, yet in compliance with 
the iiyunction of great Circe, he forced her to retire along 
with the other ghosts. Then Tiresias, who bore a golden 
sceptre, came and lapped of the offering, and immediately 
he knew Ulysses, and b^gan to prophecy : he denounced 
woe to Ulpsses, woe, woe, and mdny sufferings^ through 
the anger of Neptune for the putting out of the eye of the 
sea-god! B son. Yet there was safety after suffering, if 
ihey could abstain from sVaughiering the oxen of the Sun 
after they landed in the Triangular island. For Ulysses, 
^ gods had destined him from a king to become a beggar. 


and to perish hy hU own guests, unless he slew those who 
knew him not. 

This prophecy, ambiguoufily delivered, was all that 
Tiresias was empowered to unfold, or else^there was no 
longer place for him ; for now the souls of the other dead 
came flocking in such numbers, tumultuously demanding 
the blood, that freezing horror seized the limbs of the 
living Ulysses, to see so many, and all dead, and he the 
only one alive in that region. Now his mother came 
and lapped the blood, without restraint from her son, and 
now she knew him to be her son, and inquired of him 
why he had come alive to their comfortless habitations. 
And she said, that aflOiiction for Ulysses' long absence had 
preyed upon her spirits, and brought her to the grave. 

Ulysses' soul melted at her moving narration, and for- 
getting the state of the dead, and that the airy texture 
of disembodied spirits does not admit of the embraces of 
flesh and blood, he threw his arms about her to clasp her : 
the poor ghost melted from his embrace, and looking 
mournfully upon him vanished away. 

Then saw he other females. — Tyro, who when she 
lived was the paramour of Neptune, and by him had 
Pelias and Neleus. Antiope, who bore two like sons to 
Jove, Amphion and Zethus, founders of Thebes. Alcmena, 
the mother of Hercules, with her fair daughter, afterwards 
her daughter-in-law, Megara. There also Ulysses saw 
Jocasta, the unfortunate mother and wife of CEdipus ; 
who ignorant of kin wedded with her son, and when she 
had discovered the unnatural alliance, for shame and grief 
hanged herself. He continued to drag a wretched life above 
the earth, haunted by the dreadful Furies. — There was 
Leda, the wife of Tyndarus, the mother of the beautiful 
Helen, and of the two brave brothers, Castor and Pollux, 
who obtained this grace from Jove, that being dead, they 
should eiyoy life alternately, living in pleasant places 
under the earth. For Pollux had prayed that his brother 
Castor, who was subject to death, as ^e son of Tyndarus, 
should partake of his own immortality, which he derived 


from an immortal sire : this the Fates denied ; therefore 
Pollux was permitted to divide his immortality with his 
brother Castor, dying and living alternately. — ^There was 
Iphimedeia, who bore two sons to Neptmie that were 
giants, Otus and Ephialtes: Earth in her prodigality 
never nourished bodies to such portentous size and beauly 
as these two children were of, except Orion. At nine 
years old they had imaginations of climbing to heaven to 
see what the gods were doing; they thought to make 
stairs of mountains, and were for piling Ossa upon 
Olympus, and setting Pelion upon that, and had perhaps 
performed it, if they had lived till they were strip- 
lings j but they were cut off by death in the -infancy of 
their ambitious project.— Phaedra was there, and Procris, 
and Ariadne, mournful for Theseus* desertion, and Maera, 
and Olymene, and Eiyphile, who preferred gold before 
wedlock faith. 

But now came a mournful ghost, that late was Aga- 
memnon, son of Atreus, the mighty leader of all the host 
of Greece and their confederate kings that warred against 
Troy. He came with the rest to sip a little of the blood 
at that uncomfortable banquet. Ulysses was moved with 
compassion to see him among them, and asked him what 
untimely fate had brought him there, if storms had over- 
whelmed him coming from Troy, or if he had perished in 
some mutiny by his own soldiers at a division of the prey. 

" By none of these," he replied, " did I come to my 
death, but slain at a banquet to which I was invited by 
-ZEgisthus after my return home. He conspiring with my 
adulterous wife, they laid a scheme for my destruction, 
training me forth to a banquet as an ox goes to the 
slaughter, and there surrounding me they slew me with 
all my friends about me. 

" Clytenmestra, my wicked wife, forgetting the vows 
which she swore to me in wedlock, would not lend a 
hand to close my eyes in death. But nothing is so 
heaped with impieties as such a woman, who would kill 
her spouse that married her a maid. When I brought 


her home to my house a bride, I hoped in my heart that 
she would be loving to me and to my children. Now, 
her black treacheries have cast a foul aspersion on her 
whole sex. Blest husbands will have their loving wives 
in suspicion for her bad deeds." 

" Alas I '* said Ulysses, " there seems to be a fatal- 
ity in your royal house of Atreus, and that they are 
hated of Jove for their wives. For Helen's sake, your 
brother Menelaus' wife, what multitudes fell in the wars 
of Troy ! " 

Agamemnon replied, "For this cause be not thou 
more kind than wise to any woman. Let not thy words 
express to her at any tune all that is in thy mind, keep 
still some secrets to thyself. But thou by any bloody 
contrivances of thy wife never need'st fear to fall. Ex- 
ceeding wise she is, and to her wisdom she has a good- 
ness as eminent : Icarius' daughter, Penelope the chaste : 
we left her a young bride when we parted firom our wives 
to go to the wars, her first child suckling at her breast, 
the young Telemachus, whom you shall see grown up to 
manhood on your return, and he shall greet his father with 
befitting welcomes. My Orestes, my dear son, I shall 
never see again. His mother has deprived his father of 
the sight of him, and perhaps will slay him as she slew 
his sire. It is now no world to trust a woman in. — But 
what says fame? is my son yet alive? lives he in 
Orchomen, or in Pylus, or is he resident in Sparta, in his 
uncle's court? as yet, I see, divine Orestes is not here 
with me." 

To this Uljrsses replied that he had received no 
certain tidings where Orestes abode, only some uncertain 
rumours which he could not report for truth. 

While they held this sad conference, with kind tears 
striving to render unkind fortunes more palatable, the 
soul of great Achilles joined them. " What desperate 
adventure has brought Ulysses to these regions," said 
Achilles, '* to see the end of dead men and their foolish 


Ulysses answered him that he had come to consult 
Tiresias respecting his voyage home. " But thou, son 
of Thetis," said he, " why dost thou disparage the state of 
the dead ? seeing that as alive thou didst surpass all men 
in glory, thou must needs retain thy pre-eminence here 
below : so great Achilles triumphs over death." 

But Achilles made reply that he had much rather be 
a peasant-slave upon the earth than reign over all the 
dead. So much did the inactivity and slothful condition 
of that state displease his unquenchable and restless 
spirit. Only he inquired of Ulysses if his father Peleus 
were living, and how his son Neoptolemus conducted 

Of Peleus Ulysses could tell him nothing: but of 
Neoptolemus he thus bore witness : " From Scyros I 
convoyed your son by sea to the Greeks, where I can 
speak of him, for I knew him. He was chief in council 
and in the field. When any question was proposed, so 
quick was his conceit in the forward apprehension of any 
case, that he ever spoke first, and was heard with more 
attention than the older heads. Only myself and aged 
Nestor could compare with him • in giving advice. In 
battle I cannot speak his praise, unless I could count all 
that fell by his sword. I will only mention one instance 
of his manhood. When we sat hid in the belly of the 
wooden horse, in the ambush which deceived the Trojans 
to their destruction, I, who had the management of that 
stratagem, still shifted my place &om side to side to note 
the behaviour of our men. In some I marked their 
hearts trembling, through aU the pains which they took 
to appear valiant, and in others tears, that in spite of 
manly courage would gush forth. And to say truth, it 
was an adventure of high enterprise, and as perilous a 
stake as was ever played in war's game. But in him I 
could not observe the least sign of weakness, no tears nor 
tremblings, but his hand still on his good sword, and ever 
urging me to set open the machine and let us out before 
the time was come for doing it ; and when we sallied out 


he was still first in that fierce destruction and bloody mid- 
night desolation of King Priam's city." 

This made the soul of Achilles to tread a swifter pace, 
with high-raised feet, as he vanished away, for the joy 
which he took in his son being applauded by Ulysses. 

A sad shade stalked by, which Ulysses knew to be 
the ghost of Ajax, his opponent, when living, in that 
famous dispute about the right of succeeding to the arms 
of the deceased Achilles. They being adjudged by the 
Greeks to Ulysses, as the prize of wisdom above bodily 
strength, the noble Ajax in despite went mad, and slew 
himself. The sight of his rival turned to a shade by his 
dispute, so subdued the passion of emulation in Ulysses, 
that for his sake he wished that judgment in that contro- 
versy had been given against himself, rather than so 
illustrious a chief should have perished for the desire of 
those arms, which his prowess (second only to Achilles 
in fight) so eminently had deserved. " Ajax," he cried, 
" all the Greeks mourn for thee as much as they lamented 
for Achilles. Let not thy wrath bum for ever, great son 
of Telamon. Ulysses seeks peace with thee, and wiU 
make any atonement to thee that can appease thy hurt 
spirit." But the shade stalked on, and would not ex- 
change a word with Ulysses, though he prayed it with 
many tears and many earnest entreaties. ''He might 
have spoke to me," said Ulysses, '' since I spoke to him ; 
but I see the resentments of the dead are eternal" 

Then Ulysses saw a throne, on which was placed a 
judge distributing sentence. He that sat on the throne 
was Minos, and he was dealing out just judgments to the 
dead. He it is that assigns them their place in bliss or 

Then came by a thundering ghost, the large-limbed 
Orion, the mighty hunter, who was hunting there the 
ghosts of the beasts which he had slaughtered in desert 
hills upon the earth ; for the dead delight in the occupa- 
tions which pleased them in the time of their living upon 
the earth. 


There was Tityus suffering eternal pains because he 
had sought to violate the honour of Latona as she passed 
from Pytho into Panopeus. Two vultures sat perpetually 
preying upon his liver with their crooked beaks, which as 
fast as they devoured is for ever renewed ; nor can he 
fray them away with his great hands. 

There was Tantalus, plagued for his great sins, stand- 
ing up to the chin in water, which he can never taste, 
but still as he bows his head, thinking to quench his 
burning thirst, instead of water he licks up unsavoury 
dust.^ All fruits pleasant to the sight, and of delicious 
flavour, hang in ripe clusters about his head, seeming as 
though they offered themselves to be plucked by him; 
but when he reaches out his hand, some wind carries 
them far out of his sight into the clouds, so he is starved 
in the midst of plenty by the righteous doom of Jove, in 
memory of that inhuman banquet at which the sun turned 
pale, when the unnatural father served up the limbs of 
his little son in a dish, as meat for his divine guests. 

There was Sisyphus, that sees no end to his labours: 
His punishment is, to be for ever rolling up a vast stone 
to the top of a mountain, which when it gets to the top, 
falls down with a crushing weight, and all his work is to 
be begun again. He was bathed all over in sweat, that 
reeked out a smoke which covered his head like a mist. 
His crime had been the revealing of state secrets. 

There Ulysses saw Hercules : not that Hercules who 
eiyoys immortal life in heaven among the gods, and is 
married to Hebe or Youth, but his shadow which remains 
below. About him the dead flocked as thick as bats, 
hovering around, and cuffing at his head : he stands with 
his dreadful bow, ever in the act to shoot. 

There also might Ulysses have seen and spoken with 
the shades of Theseus, and Pirithous, and the old heroes ; 
but he had conversed enough with horrors, therefore, 
covering his face with his hands, that he might see no 
more spectres, he resumed his seat in his ship, and pushed 
off. The barque moved of itself without the help of any 


oar, and soon brought him out of the regions of death 
into the cheerful quarters of the living, and to the island 
of jEea, whence he had set forth. 

Chapter III 

The song of the Sirens — Scylla and Charybdis — The oxen of the 
Sun — ^The judgment — The crew killed by lightning. 

" Unhappy man, who at thy birth wast appointed twice 
to die! others shall die once: but thou, besides that 
death that remains for thee, common to all men, hast in 
thy lifetime visited the shades of death. Thee Scylla, 
thee Charybdis, expect. Thee the deathfdl Sirens lie in 
wait for, that taint the minds of whoever listen to them 
with their sweet singing. Whosoever shall but hear the 
call of any Siren, he will so despise both wife and children 
through their sorceries, that the stream of his affection 
never again shall set homewards, nor shall he take joy in . 
wife or children thereafter, or they in him." 

With these prophetic greetings great Circe met Ulysses 
on his return. He besought her to instruct him in the 
nature of the Sirens, and by what method their baneful 
allurements were to be resisted, 

" They are sisters three," she replied, " that sit in a 
mead (by which your ship must needs pass) circled with 
dead men's bones. These are the bones of men whom 
they have slain, after with fawning invitements they have 
enticed them into their fen. Yet such is the celestial 
harmony of their voice accompanying the persuasive magic 
of their words, that knowing this, you shall not be able 
to withstand their enticements. Therefore when you are 
to sail by them, you shall stop the ears of your companions 
with wax, that they may hear no note of that dangerous 
music ; but for yourself, that you may hear, and yet live, 
give them strict command to bind you hand and foot to 
the mast) and in no case to set you free, tiU you are out 


of the danger of the temptation, though you should en- 
treat it, and implore it ever so much, but to bind you 
rather the more for your requesting to be loosed. So 
shall you escape that snara" 

Ulysses then prayed her that she would inform him 
what Scylla and Oharybdis were, which she had taught 
him by name to fear. She replied : " Sailing from Mea, 
to Trinacria, you must pass at an equal distance between 
two fatal rocks. Incline never so little either to the one 
side or the other, and your ship must meet with certain 
destruction. No vessel ever yet tried that pass without 
being lost, but the Argo, which owed her safety to the 
sacred freight she bore, the fleece of the golden-backed 
ram, which could not perish. The biggest of these rocks 
which you shall come to, Scylla hath in charge. There, 
in a deep whirlpool at the foot of the rock, the abhorred 
monster shrouds her face ; who if she were to show her 
full form, no eye of man or god could endure the sight ; 
thence she stretches out all her six long necks peering and 
diving to suck up fish, dolphins, dog-fish, and whales, 
whole ships, and their men, whatever comes within her 
raging gulf. The other rock is lesser, and of less ominous 
aspect; but there dreadful Oharybdis sits, supping the 
black deeps. Thrice a day she drinks her pits dry, and 
thrice a day again she belches them all up : but when 
she is drinking, come not nigh, for being once caught, the 
force of Neptime cannot redeem you from her swallow. 
Better trust to Scylla, for she will but have for her six 
necks, six men : Oharybdis in her insatiate draught will 
ask aU." 

Then Ulysses inquired, in case he should escape Oharyb- 
dis, whether he might not assail that other monster with 
his sword : to which she replied that he must not think 
that he had an enemy subject to death, or wounds, to 
contend with : for ScyUa could never die. Therefore, 
his best safety was in flight, and to invoke none of the 
gods but Gratis, who is Scylla's mother, and might per- 
haps forbid her daughter to devour them. For his con- 


duct after he arriyed at Trinacria she referred him to the 
admonitions which had been given him by Tiresias. 

Ulysses having communicated her instructions, as far 
as related to the Sirens, to his companions,. who had not 
been present at that interview ; but concealing from them 
the rest, as he had done the terrible predictions of Tire- 
sias, that they might not be deterred by fear from pursuing 
their voyage : the time for departure being come, they set 
their sails, and took a final leave of great Circe ; who by 
her art calmed the heavens, and gave them smooth seas, 
and a right fore wind (the seaman's friend) to bear them 
on their way to Ithaca. 

They had not sailed past a hundred leagues before the 
breeze which Circe had lent them suddenly stopped. It 
was stricken dead. All the sea lay in prostrate slumber. 
Not a gasp of air could be felt. The ship stood stilL 
Ulysses guessed that the island of the Sirens was not far 
off, and that they had charmed the air so with their 
devilish singing. Therefore he made him cakes of wax, 
as Circe had instructed him, and stopped the ears of his 
men with them : then causing himself to be bound hand 
and foot, he commanded the rowers to ply their oars and 
row as fast as speed could carry them past that fatal 
shore. They soon came within sight of the Sirens, who 
sang in Ulysses' hearing : 

Come here, thon, worthy of a world of praise, 
That dost so high the Grecian glory raise ; 
Ulysses ! stay thy ship ; and that song hear 
That none pass'd ever, but it bent his ear, 
But left him ravish'd, and instructed more 
By us, than any, ever heard before. 
For we know all things, whatsoever were 
In wide Troy labour'd : whatsoever there 
The Grecians and the .Trojans both sustained : 
By those high issues that the gods ordain'd : 
And whatsoever all the earth can show 
To inform a knowledge of desert, we know. 

These were the words, but the celestial harmony of 
the voices which sang them no tongue can describe : it 


took the ear of Ulysses with ravishment. He would 
have broke his bonds to rush after them ; and threatened, 
wept, sued, entreated, commanded, crying out with tears 
and passionate imprecations, conjuring his men by all the 
ties of perils past which they had endured in common, by 
fellowship and love, and the authority which he retained 
among them, to let him loose ; but at no rate would they 
obey him. And still the Sirens sang. Ulysses made 
signs, motions, gestures, promising mountains of gold if 
they would set him free; but their oars only moved 
faster. And still the Sirens sung. And stiU the more 
he abjured them to set him free, the faster with cords 
and ropes they bound him ; till they were quite out of 
hearing of the Sirens' notes, whose effect great Circe had 
so truly predicted. And well she might speak of them, 
for often she had joined her own enchanting voice to 
theirs, while she has sat in the flowery meads, mingled 
with the Sirens and the Water Nymphs, gathering their 
potent herbs and drugs of magic quaHty : their singing 
altogether has made the gods stoop, and " heaven drowsy 
with the harmony." 

Escaped that peril, they had not sailed yet an hundred 
leagues farther, when they heard a roar afar ofl^ which 
Ulysses knew to be the barking of ScyUa's dogs, which 
surround her waist, and bark incessantly. Coming nearer 
they beheld a smoke ascend, with a horrid murmur, which 
arose from that other whirlpool, to which they made 
nigher approaches than to Scylla. Through the furious 
eddy, which is in that place, the ship stood still as a 
stone, for there was no man to lend his hand to an oar, 
the dismal roar of Scylla's dogs at a distance, and the 
nearer clamours of Charybdis, where everything made an 
echo, quite taking from them the power of exertion. 
Ulysses went up and down encouraging his men, one by 
one, giving them good words, telling them that they were 
in greater perils when they were blocked up in the Cyclop's 
cave, yet, heaven assisting his counsels, he had delivered 
them out of that extremity. That he could not believe 


but they remembered it ; and wished them to give the 
same trust to the same care which he had now for their 
welfare. That they must exert all the strength and wit 
which they had, and try if Jove would not grant them an 
escape even out of this peril. In particular he cheered 
up the pilot who sat at the helm, and told him that he 
must show more firmness than other men, as he had 
more trust committed to him, and had the sole manage- 
ment by his skill of the vessel in which all their safeties 
were embarked. That a rock lay hid within those boil- 
ing whirlpools which he saw, on the outside of which he 
must steer, if he would avoid his own destruction, and 
the destruction of them all. 

They heard him, and like men took to the oars ; but 
little knew what opposite danger, in shunning that rock, 
they must be thrown upon. For Ulysses had concealed 
from them the wounds, never to be healed, which Scylla 
was to open: their terror would else have robbed them 
all of all care to steer, or move an oar, and have made 
them hide under the hatches for fear of seeing her, where 
he and they must have died an idle death. But even 
then he forgot the precautions which Circe had given him 
to prevent harm to his person ; who had willed him not 
to arm, or show himself once to Scylla : but disdaining 
not to venture life for his brave companions, he could not 
contain, but armed in all points, and taking a lance in 
either hand, he went up to the fore deck, and looked 
when Scylla would appear. 

She did not show herself as yet, and still the vessel 
steered closer by her rock, as it sought to shun that other 
more dreaded : for they saw how horribly Charybdis' 
black throat drew into her all the whirling deep, which 
she disgorged again, that all about her boiled like a 
kettle, and the rock roared with troubled waters ; which 
when she supped in again, all the bottom turned up, and 
disclosed far under shore the swart sands naked, whose 
whole stern sight frayed the startled blood from their 
faces, and made Ulysses turn his to view the wonder of 


whirlpools. Which when Scylla saw, from out her black 
den, she darted out her six long necks, and swoopt up as 
many of his friends : whose cries Ulysses heard, and saw 
them too late, with their heels turned up, and their 
hands thrown to him for succour, who had been their 
help in all extremities, but could not deliver them now ; 
and he heard them shriek out, as she tore them, and to 
the last they continued to throw their hands out to him 
for sweet life. In all his sufferings he never had beheld 
a sight so frdl of miseries. 

Escaped from ScyUa and Oharybdis, but with a dimin- 
ished crew, Ulysses, and the sad remains of his followers, 
reached the Trinacrian shore. Here landing, he beheld 
oxen grazing of such surpassing size and beauty, that 
both from them, and from the shape of the island 
(having three promontories jutting into the sea) he 
judged rightly that he was come to the Triangular 
island, and the oxen of the Sun, of which Tiresias had 
forewarned him. 

So great was his terror lest through his own fault, or 
that of his men, any violence or profanation should be 
offered to the holy oxen, that even then, tired as they 
were with the perils and fatigues of the day past, and 
unable to stir an oar, or use any exertion, and though 
night was fast coming on, he would have them re-embark 
inmiediately, and make the best of their way from that 
dangerous station ; but his men with one voice resolutely 
opposed it, and even the too cautious Eurylochus himself 
withstood the proposal ; so much did the temptation of 
a little ease and refreshment (ease tenfold sweet after 
such labours) prevail over the sagest counsels, and the 
apprehension of certain evil outweigh the prospect of 
contingent danger. They expostulated, that the nerves 
of Ulysses seemed to be made of steel, and his limbs not 
liable to lassitude like other men's; that waking or 
sleeping seemed indifferent to him ; but that they were 
men, not gods, and felt the common appetites for food 
and sleep. That in the night-time all the winds most 


destructive to ships are generated. That black night 
still required to be served with meat, and sleep, and 
quiet havens and ease. That the best sacrifice to the sea 
was in the morning. With such sailor-like sayings and 
mutinous arguments, which the majority have always 
ready to justify disobedience to their betters, they forced 
Ulysses to comply with their requisition, and against his 
wLQ to take up his night -quarters on shore. But he 
first exacted from them an oath that they would neither 
maim nor kiU any of the cattie which they saw grazing, 
but content themselves with such food as Circe had 
stowed their vessel with when they parted from ^ea. 
This they man by man severally promised, imprecating 
the heaviest curses on whoever should break it ; and 
mooring their bark within a creek, they went to supper, 
contenting themselves that night with such food as Circe 
had given them, not without many sad thoughts of their 
friends whom Scylla had devoured, the grief of which 
kept them great part of the night waking. 

In the morning Ulysses urged them again to a 
religious observance of the oath that they had sworn, not 
in any case to attempt the blood of those fair herds 
which they saw grazing, but to content themselves with 
the ship's food ; for the god who owned those cattie sees 
and hears alL 

They faithfully obeyed, and remained in that good 
mind for a month, during which they were confined to 
that station by contrary winds, till all the wine and the 
bread were gone, which they had brought with them. 
When their victuals were gone, necessity compelled them 
to stray in quest of whatever fish or fowl they could snare, 
which that coast did not yield in any great abundance. 
Then Ulysses prayed to aU the gods that dwelt in bounti- 
ful heaven, that they would be pleased to yield them some 
means to stay their hunger without having recourse to 
profane and forbidden violations : but the ears of heaven 
seemed to be shut, or some god incensed plotted his ruin ; 
for at mid-day, when he should chiefly have been vigilant 


and watchful to present mischief, a deep sleep fell upon 
the eyes of Ulysses, during which he lay totally insensible 
of all that passed in* the world, and what his Mends or 
what his enemies might do, for his welfare or destraction. 
Then Euiylochus took his advantage. He was the man 
of most authority with them after Ulysses. He repre- 
sented to them all the misery of their condition; how 
that every death is hateful and grievous to mortality, but 
that of all deaths famine is attended with the most pain- 
ful, loathsome, and humiliating circumstances; that the 
subsistence which they could hope to draw from fowling 
or fishing was too precarious to be depended upon ; that 
there did not seem to be any chance of the winds chang- 
ing to favour their escape, but that they must inevitably 
stay there and perish, if they let an irrational superstition 
deter them from the means which nature offered to their 
hands ; that Ulysses might be deceived in his belief that 
these oxen had any sacred qualities above other oxen; 
and even admitting that they were the property of the 
god of the Sun, as he said they were, the Sun did neither 
eat nor drink, and the gods were best served not by a 
scrupulous conscience, but by a thankful heart, which 
took freely what they as freely offered : with these and 
such-like persuasions he prevailed on his half-famished 
and half-mutinous companions, to begin the impious 
violation of their oath by the slaughter of seven of the 
fairest of these oxen which were grazing. Part they 
roasted and eat, and part they offered in sacrifice to the 
gods, particularly to Apollo, god of the Sun, vowing to 
buUd a temple to his godhead, when they should arrive 
in Ithaca, and deck it with magnificent and numerous 
gifts : Vain men ! and superstition worse than that which 
they so lately derided ! to imagine that prospective peni- 
tence can excuse a present violation of duty, and that the 
pure natures of the heavenly powers will admit of com- 
promise or dispensation for sin. 

But to their feast they fell, dividing the roasted 
portions of the flesh, savoury and pleasant meat to them. 


but a sad sight to the eyes and a savour of death in the 
nostrils of the waking Ulysses ; who just woke in time 
to witness, but not soon enough to prevent, their rash 
and sacrilegious banquet. He had scarce time to ask 
what great mischief was this which they had done unto 
him ; when behold, a prodigy ! the ox-hides which they 
had stripped began to creep, as if they had life ; and the 
roasted flesh bellowed as the ox used to do when he was 
living. The hair of Ulysses stood up on end with aflfright 
at these omens ; but his companions, like men whom the 
gods had infatuated to their destruction, persisted in their 
horrible banquet. 

The Sun from its burning chariot saw how Ulysses' 
men had slain his oxen, and he cried to his father Jove : 
" Kevenge me upon these impious men who have slain 
my oxen, which it did me good to look upon when I 
walked my heavenly round. In all my daily course I 
never saw such bright and beautiful creatures as those 
my oxen wera" The father promised that ample retribu- 
tion should be taken of those accursed men : which was 
fulfilled shortly after, when they took their leaves of the 
fatal island. 

Six days tney feasted in spite of the signs of heaven, 
and on the seventh, the wind changing, they set their 
sails and left the island ; and their hearts were cheerful 
with the banquets they had held ; all but the heart of 
Ulysses, which sank within him, as with wet eyes he 
beheld his friends, and gave them for lost, as men devoted 
to divine vengeance. Which soon overtook them : for 
they had not gone many leagues before a dreadful tempest 
arose, which burst their cables ; down came their mast, 
crushiDg the scull of the pilot in its fall ; off he fell from 
the stem into the water, and the bark wanting his 
management drove along at the wind's mercy : thunders 
roared, and terrible lightnings of Jove came down ; first 
a bolt struck Eurylochus, then another, and then another, 
till all the crew were killed, and their bodies swam about 
like sea-mews; and the ship was split in pieces: only 


Ulysses survived ; and he had no hope of safety but in 
tying himself to the mast, where he sat riding upon the 
waves, like one that in no extremity would yield to 
fortune. Nine days was he floating about with aU the 
motions of the sea, with no other support than the 
slender mast under Mm, till the tenth night cast him, all 
spent and weary with toil upon the friendly shores of the 
island Ogygia. 

Chapter IV. 

The island of Calypso — ^Immortality refased. 

Henceforth the adventures of the single Ulysses must 
be pursued. Of all those faithful partakers of his toil, 
who with him left Asia, laden with the spoils of Troy, 
now not one remains, but all a prey to the remorseless 
waves, and food for some great fish ; their gallant navy 
reduced to one ship, and that finally swallowed up and 
lost. Where now are all their anxious thoughts of home? 
that perseverance with which they went through the 
severest suflferings and the hardest labours to which poor 
seafarers were ever exposed, that their toils at last might 
be crowned with the sight of their native shores and 
wives at Ithaca! — Ulysses is now in the isle Ogygia; 
called the Delightful Island. The poor shipwrecked 
chief, the slave of all the elements, is once again raised 
by the caprice of fortune into a shadow of prosperity. 
He that was cast naked upon the shore, bereft of all his 
companions, has now a goddess to attend upon him, and 
his companions are the nymphs which never die. — Who 
has not heard of Calypso ? her grove crowned with alders 
and poplars 1 her grotto, against which the luxuriant vine 
laid forth his purple grapes? her ever new deUghts, 
crystal fountains, running brooks, meadows flowering 
with sweet balm -gentle and with violet: blue violets 
which like veins enamelled the smooth breasts of each 


fragrant mead ! It were useless to describe over again 
what has been so well told already : or to relate those 
soft arts of courtship which the goddess used to detain 
Ulysses ; the same in kind which she afterwards practised 
upon his less wary son, whom Minerva, in the shape of 
Mentor, hardly preserved from her snares, when they 
came to the Delightful Island together in search of the 
scarce departed Ulysses. 

A memorable example of married love, and a worthy 
instance how dear to every good man his country is, was 
exhibited by Ulysses. If Oirce loved him sincerely, 
Calypso loves him with tenfold more warmth and passion : 
she can deny him nothing but his departure ; she offers 
him everything, even to a participation of her inmior- 
tality; if he will stay and share in her pleasures he 
shall never die. But death with glory has greater charms 
for a mind heroic than a life that shall never die with 
shame ; and when he pledged his vows to his Penelope, 
he reserved no stipulation that he would forsake her 
whenever a goddess should think him worthy of her bed, 
but they had sworn to live and grow old together : and 
he would not survive her if he could, nor meanly share 
in immortality itself, from which she was excluded. 

These thoughts kept him pensive and melancholy in 
the midst of pleasure. His heart was on the seas, making 
voyages to Ithaca. Twelve months had worn away, 
when Minerva from heaven saw her favourite, how he 
sat still' pining on the sea shores (his daily custom), 
wishing for a ship to carry him home. She (who is 
wisdom herself) was indignant that so wise and brave a 
man as Ulysses should be held in effeminate bondage by 
an unworthy goddess : and at her request, her father 
Jove ordered Mercury to go down to the earth to com- 
mand Calypso to dismiss her guest. The divine mes- 
senger tied fast to his feet his winged shoes, which bear 
him over land and seas, and took in his hand his golden 
rod, the ensign of his authority. Then wheeling in 
many an airy round, he stayed not till he alighted on 


the firm top of the mountain Plena : thence he fetched 
a second circuit over the seas, kissing the waves in his 
flight with his feet, as light as any sea-mew fishing dips 
her wings, till he touched the isle Ogygia, and soared up 
from the blue sea to the grotto of the goddess, to whom 
his errand was ordained. 

His message struck a horror, checked by love, through 
all the faculties of Oalypso. She replied to it, incensed : 
" You gods are insatiate, past all that Uve, in all things 
which you affect; which makes you so envious and 
grudging. It afflicts you to the heart, when any goddess 
seeks the love of a mortal man in marriage, though you 
yourselves without scruple link yourselves to women of 
the earth. So it fared with you, when the delicious- 
fingered Morning shared Orion's bed; you could never 
satisfy your hate and your jealousy till you had incensed 
the chastity -loving dame, Diana, who leads the precise 
life^ to come upon him by stealth in Ortygia^ and pierce 
him through with her arrows. And when rich -haired 
Ceres gave the reins to her affections, and took lasion 
(well worthy) to her arms, the secret was not so cunningly 
kept but Jove had soon notice of it, and the poor mortal 
paid for his felicity with death, struck through with 
lightnings. And now you envy me the possession of a 
wretched man, whom tempests have cast upon my shores, 
making him lawfully mine; whose ship Jove rent in 
pieces with his hot thunderbolts, killing all his friends. 
Him I have preserved, loved, nourished, made him mine 
by protection, my creature, by every tie of gratitude 
mine; have vowed to make him deathless like myself; 
him you will take from me. But I know your power, 
a^d that it is vain for me to resist. Tell your king that 
I obey his mandates." 

With an ill grace Oalypso promised to fulfil the com- 
mands of Jove; and. Mercury departing, she went to 
find Ulysses, where he sat outside the grotto, not know- 
ing of the heavenly message, drowned in discontent, not 
seeing any human probabiHty of his ever returning home. 


She said to him : " Unhappy man, no longer afiSict 
youiself with pining after your comitry, but build you a 
ship, with which you may return home ; since it is the 
will of the gods : who, doubtless, as they are greater in 
power than I, are greater in skill, and best can tell what 
is fittest for man. But I call the gods and my inward 
conscience, to witness, that I had no thought but what 
stood with thy safety, nor would have done or counselled 
anything against thy good. I persuaded thee to nothing 
which I should not have followed myself in thy extremity : 
for my mind is innocent and simple. 0, if thou knewest 
what dreadful sufferings thou must yet endure before 
ever thou reachest thy native land, thou wouldest not 
esteem so hardly of a goddess' offer to share her immor- 
tality with thee ; nor, for a few years' eiyoyment of a 
perishing Penelope, refuse an imperishable and never- 
dying life with Oalypsa" 

He replied : " Ever-honoured, great Calypso, let it 
not displease thee, that I, a mortal man, desire to see and 
converse again with a wife that is mortal ; human objects 
are best fitted to human infirmities. I well know how 
far in wisdom, in feature, in stature, proportion, beauty, 
in aU the gifts of the mind, thou exceedest my Penelope : 
she a mortal, and subject to decay ; thou immortal, ever 
growing, yet never old ; yet in her sight all my desires 
terminate, all my wishes ; in the sight of her, and of my 
country earth. If any god, envious of my return, shall 
lay his dreadful hand upon me as I pass the seas, I sub- 
mit ; for the same powers have given me a mind not to 
sink under oppression. In wars and waves my sufferings 
have not been small." 

She heard his pleaded reasons, and of force she must 
assent ; so to her nymphs she gave in charge from her 
sacred woods to cut down timber, to make Ulysses a ship. 
They obeyed, though in a work unsuitable to their soft 
fingers, yet to obedience no sacrifice is hard : and Ulysses 
busily bestirred himself, labouring far more hard than 
they, as was fitting, till twenty tall trees, driest and 


fittest for timber, were felled. Then like a skilful ship- 
wright he fell to joining the planks, using the plane, 
the axe, and the augur, with such expedition, that in 
four days' time a ship was made, complete with all her 
decks, hatches, side-boards, yards. Calypso added linen 
for the sails, and tackling ; and when she was finished, 
she was a goodly vessel for a man to sail in alone, or in 
company, over the wide seas. By the fifth morning she 
was launched ; and Ulysses, furnished with store of pro- 
visions, rich garments, and gold and silver, given him by 
Calypso, took a last leave of her, and of her nymphs 
and of the isle Ogygia which had so beMended him. 

Chapteb V. 

The tempest — The sea-bird*8 gift — ^The escape by swimming — ^The 

sleep in the woods. 

At the stem of his solitary ship Ulysses sat and steered 
right artfully. No sleep could seize his eyelids. He 
beheld the Pleiads, the Bear which is by some called the 
Wain, that moves round about Orion, and keeps still 
above the ocean, and the slow-setting sign Bootes, which 
some name the Waggoner. Seventeen days he held his 
course, and on the eighteenth the coast of PhaBacia was 
in sight. The figure of the land, as seen from the sea, 
was pretty and circular, and looked something like a 

Neptune returning fix)m visiting his favourite -Ethi- 
opians, from the mountains of the Solymi, descried Ulysses 
ploughing the waves, his domain. The sight of the man 
he so much hated for Polyphemus' sake, his son, whose 
eye Ulysses had put out, set the god's heart on fire, and 
snatching into his hand his horrid sea-sceptre, the trident 
of his power, he smote the air and the sea, and coiyured 
up all his black storms, calling down night from the cope 
of heaven and taking the earth into the sea, as it seemed, 


with clouds, through the dai-kness and indistinctness which 
prevailed, the billows rolling up before the fury of all 
the winds that contended together in their mighty 

Then the knees of Ulysses bent with fear, and then 
all his spirit was spent, and he wished that he had been 
among the number of his countrymen who fell before 
Troy, and had their funerals celebrated by aU the Greeks, 
rather than to perish thus, where no man could mourn 
him or know him. 

As he thought these melancholy thoughts, a huge 
wave took him and washed him overboard, ship and all 
upset amidst the billows, he struggling afar off, clinging 
to her stem broken off which he yet held, her mast 
cracking in two with the fury of that gust of mixed winds 
that struck it, sails and sail-yards fell into the deep, and 
he himself was long drowned under water, nor could get 
his head above, wave so met with wave, as if they strove 
which should depress him most, and the gorgeous gar- 
ments given him by Calypso clung about him, and hindered 
his swimming ; yet neither for this, nor for the overthrow 
of his ship, nor his own perilous condition, would he give 
up his drenched vessel, but, wrestling with Neptune, got 
at length hold of her again, and then sat in her bulk, 
insulting over death, which he had escaped, and the salt 
waves which he gave the sea again to give to other men : 
his ship, striving to live, floated at random, cuffed from 
wave to wave, hurled to and fro by all the winds ; now 
Boreafi tossed it to Notus, !N'otus passed it to Eurus, 
and Eurus to the west wind, who kept up the horrid 

Them in their mad sport Ino Leucothea beheld ; Ino 
Leucothea, now a sea-goddess, but once a mortal and the 
daughter of Cadmus ; she with pity beheld Ulysses the 
mark of their fierce contention, and rising from the waves 
alighted on the ship, in shape like to the sea-bird which 
is called a cormorant, and in her beak she held a wonder- 
ftd girdle made of sea-weeds which grow at the bottom of 


the ocean, which she dropped at his feet, and the bird 
spake to Ulysses and counselled him not to trust any 
more to that fatal vessel against which god Neptune had 
levelled his furious wrath, nor to those ill-befriending 
garments which Calypso had given him, but to quit both 
it and them, and trust for his safety to swimming. " And 
here," said the seeming bird, " take this girdle and tie 
about your middle, which has virtue to protect the wearer 
at sea, and you shall safely reach the shore ; but when 
you have landed cast it far from you back into the 
sea." He did as the sea-bird instructed him, he stripped 
himself naked, and fastening the wondrous girdle about 
his middle, cast himself into the seas to swim. The 
bird dived past his sight into the fathomless abyss of 
the ocean. 

Two days and two nights he spent in struggling with 
the waves, though sore buflfetted and almost spent, never 
giving up himself for lost, such confidence he had in that 
charm which he wore about his middle, and in the words 
of that divine bird. But the third morning the winds 
grew calm, and all the heavens were clear. Then he 
saw himself nigh land, which he knew to be the coast of 
the Phasacians, a people good to strangers, and abounding 
in ships, by whose favour he doubted not that he should 
soon obtain a passage to his own country. And such joy 
he conceived in his heart, aa good sons have that esteem 
their father's life dear, when long sickness has held him 
down to his bed, and wasted his body, and they see at 
length health return to the old man, with restored 
strength and spirits, in reward of their many prayers to 
the gods for his safety : so precious was the prospect of 
home-return to Ulysses, that he might restore health to 
his country (his better parent), that had long languished 
as full of distempers in his absence. And then for his 
own safety's sake he had joy to see the shores, the woods, 
so nigh and within his graap as they seemed, and he 
laboured with all the might of hands and feet to reach 
with swimming that nigh-seeming land 


But when he approached near, a horrid sound of a 
huge sea beating against rocks informed him that here 
was no place for landing, nor any harbour for man's 
resort, but through the weeds and the foam which the 
sea belched up against the land he could dimly discover 
the rugged shore all bristled with flints, and all that part 
of the coast one impending rock that seemed impossible 
to climb, and the water all about so deep, that not a sand 
was there for any tired foot to rest upon, and every 
moment he feared lest some wave more cruel than the 
rest should crush him against a cliflf, rendering worse than 
vain all his landing : and should he swim to seek a more 
commodious haven farther on, he was fearful lest, weak 
and spent as he was, the winds would force him back a 
long way off into the main, where the terrible god Neptune, 
for wrath that he had so nearly escaped his power, having 
gotten him again into his domain, would send out some 
great whale (of which those seas breed a horrid number) 
to swallow him up alive; with such malignity he still 
pursued him. 

While these thoughts distracted him with diversity of 
dangers, one bigger wave drove against a sharp rock his 
naked body, which it gashed and tore, and wanted little 
of breaking all his bones, so rude was the shock. But 
in this extremity she prompted him that never failed him 
at need. Minerva (who is wisdom itself) put it into his 
thoughts no longer to keep swimming off and on, as one 
dallying with danger, but boldly to force the shore that 
threatened him, and to hug the rock that had torn him 
so rudely ; which with both hands he clasped, wrestling 
with extremity, till the rage of that billow which had 
driven him upon it was past ; but then again the rock 
drove back that wave so furiously, that it reft him of his 
hold, sucking him with it in his return, and the sharp 
rock (his cruel friend) to which he clinged for succour, 
rent the flesh so sore from his hands in parting, that he 
fell off, and could sustain no longer : quite under water 
he fell, and past the help of fate, there had the hapless 


Ulysses lost all portion that he had in this life, if Minerva 
had not prompted his wisdom in that peril to essay 
another com^e, and to explore some other shelter, ceasing 
to attempt that landing-place. 

She guided his wearied and nigh -exhausted limbs to 
the mouth of the fair river Calliroe, which not far from 
thence disbursed its watery tribute to the ocean. Here 
the shores were easy and accessible, and the rocks, which 
rather adorned than defended its banks, so smooth, that 
they seemed polished of purpose to invite the landing of 
our sea-wanderer, and to atone for the uncourteous treat- 
ment which those less hospitable cliffs had afforded him. 
And the god of the river, as if in pity, stayed his current 
and smoothed his waters, to make his landing more easy ; 
for sacred to the ever-living deities of the fresh waters, 
be they mountain-stream, river, or lake, is the cry of 
erring mortals that seek their aid, by reason that being 
inland-bred they partake more of the gentle humanities 
of our nature than those marine deities, whom Neptune 
trains up in tempests in the unpitying recesses of his salt 

So by the favour of the river's god Ulysses crept to 
land half-drowned ; both his knees faltering, his strong 
hands falling down through weakness from the excessive 
toils he had endured, his cheek and nostrils flowing with 
froth of the sea-brine, much of which he had swallowed 
in that conflict, voice and breath spent, down he sank as 
in death. Dead weary he was. It seemed that the sea 
had soaked through his heart, and the pains he felt in 
all his veins were little less than those which one feels 
that has endured the torture of the rack. But when his 
spirits came a little to themselves, and his recollection by 
degrees began to return, he rose up, and unloosing from 
his waist the girdle or charm which that divine bird had 
given him, and remembering the charge which he had 
received with it, he flung it far from him into the river. 
Back it swam with the course of the ebbing stream till it 
reached the sea, where the fair hands of Ino Leucothea 



received it to ke^ it as a pledge of safety to any fiiture 
shipwrecked mariner that like Ulysses should wander in 
those perilous waves. 

Then he kissed the humble earth in token of safety, 
and on he went by the side of that pleasant river till he 
came where a thicker shade of rushes that grew on its 
banks seemed to point out the place where he might rest 
his sea-wearied limbs. And here a fresh perplexity 
divided his mind, whether he should pass the nighty 
which was coming on, in that place, where, though he 
feared no other enemies, the damps and frosts of the chiU 
sea-air in that exposed situation might be death to him 
in his weak state ; or whether he had better climb the 
next hill, and pierce the depth of some shady wood, in 
which he might find a warm and sheltered though insecure 
repose, subject to the approach of any wild beast that 
roamed that way. Best did this last course appear to 
him, though with some danger, as that which was more 
honourable and savoured more of strife and self-exertion, 
than to perish without a struggle the passive victim of 
cold and the elements. 

So he bent his course to the nearest woods, where, 
entering in, he found a thicket, mostly of wild olives and 
such low trees, yet growing so intertwined and knit to- 
gether that the moist wind had not leave to play through 
their branches, nor the sun's scorching beams to pierce 
their recesses, nor any shower to beat through, they grew 
so thick and as it were folded each in the other ; here 
creeping in, he made his bed of the leaves which were 
beginning to fall, of which was such abundance that two 
or three men might have spread them ample coverings, 
such as might shield them from the winter's rage, though 
the air breathed steel and blew as it would burst. Here 
creeping in, he heaped up store of leaves all about him, 
as a man would billets upon a winter fire, and lay down 
in the midst Rich seed of virtue lying hid in poor 
leaves ! Here Minerva soon gave him sound sleep ; and 
here all his long toils past seemed to be concluded and 


shut up within the little sphere of his refreshed and 
closed eyelids. 

Ohapteb VL 

The princess Nausicaa — ^The washing — The game with the ball — 
The Court of Phseacia and king Alcinons. 

Meantime Minenra, designing an interview between the 
king's daughter of that country and Ulysses when he 
should awake, went by night to the palace of king 
Alcinous, and stood at the bedside of the princess 
Nausicaa in the shape of one of her favourite attendants, 
and thus addressed the sleeping princess. 

" Nausicaa, why do you lie sleeping here, and never 
bestow a thought upon your bridal ornaments, of which 
you have many and beautiful, laid up in your wardrobe 
against the day of your marriage, which cannot be far 
distant; when you shall have need of all, not only to 
deck your own person, but to give away in presents to 
the virgins that honouring you shall attend you to the 
temple ? Your reputation stands much upon the timely 
care of these things; these things are they which fill 
father and reverend mother with delight. Let us arise 
betimes to wash your fair vestments of linen and silks in 
the river ; and request your sire to lend you mules and 
a coach, for your wardrobe is heavy, and the place where 
we must wash is distant, and besides it fits not a great 
princess like you to go so far on foot." 

So saying she went away, and Nausicaa awoke, full of 
pleasing thoughts of her marriage, which the dream had 
told her was not far distant : and as soon as it was 
dawn, she arose and dressed herself and went to find her 

The queen her mother was abeady up, and seated 
among her maids, spinning at her wheel, as the fashion 
was in those primitive times, when great ladies did not 
disdain housewifery ; and the king her father was pre- 


paring to go abroad at that early hour to council with 
his grave senate. 

" My father," she said, " wiU you not order mules and 
a coach to be got ready, that I may go and wash, I and 
my maids, at the cisterns that stand without the city V* 

''What washing does my daughter speak of?" said 

" Mine and my brothers' garments," she replied, " that 
have contracted soil by this time with lying by so long 
in the wardrobe. Five sons have you, that are my 
brothers ; two of them are married, and three are 
bachelors ; these last it concerns to have their garments 
neat and unsoiled; it may advance their fortunes in 
mamage : and who but I their sister should have a care 
of these things ? You yourself, my father, have need of 
the whitest apparel, when you go, as now, to the council." 

She used this plea, modestly dissembling her care of 
her own nuptials to her father ; who was not displeased 
at this instance of his daughter's discretion : for a season- 
able care about marriage may be permitted to a young 
maiden, provided it to be accompanied with modesty and 
dutiful submission to her parents in the choice of her 
future husband : and there was no fear of Nausicaa 
choosing wrongly or improperly, for she was as wise as 
she was beautiful, and the best in all Fhssacia were 
suitors to her for her love. So Alcinous readily gave 
consent that she should go, ordering mules and a coach 
to be prepared. And Kausicaa brought from her chamber 
all her vestments, and laid them up in the coach, and 
her mother placed bread and wine in the coach, and oil 
in a golden cruse, to soften the bright skins of Kausicaa 
and her maids when they came out of the river. 

Nausicaa making her maids get up into the coach 
with her, lashed the mules, till they brought her to the 
cisterns which stood a little on the outside of the town, 
and were supplied with water from the river Galliroe. 

There her attendants unyoked the mules, took out the 
clothes, and steeped them in the cisterns, washing them 


in several waters, and afterwards treading them clean 
with their feet, venturing wagers who should have done 
soonest and cleanest, and using many pretty pastimes to 
beguile their labour as young maids use, while the 
princess looked on. When they had laid their clothes 
to dry, they fell to playing again, and Nausicaa joined 
them in a game with the ball, which is used in that 
country, which is performed by tossing the ball from 
hand to hand with great expedition, she who begins the 
pastime singing a song. It chanced that the princess, 
whose turn it became to toss the ball, sent it so far from 
its mark, that it fell beyond into one of the cisterns of 
the river : at which the whole company, in merry con- 
sternation, set up a shriek so loud as waked the sleeping 
Ulysses, who was taking his rest, after his long toils, in 
the woods not far distant from the place where these 
young maids had come to wash. 

At the sound of female voices Ulysses crept forth 
from his retirement, making himself a covering with 
boughs and leaves as well as he could to shroud his 
nakedness. The sudden appearance of his weather-beaten 
and almost naked form so frighted the maidens that they 
scudded away into the woods and all about to hide them- 
selves, only Minerva (who had brought about this inter- 
view to admirable purposes, by seemingly accidental 
means) put courage into the breast of Kausicaa, and she 
stayed where she was, and resolved to know what manner 
of man he was, and what was the occasion of his strange 
coming to them. 

He not venturing (for delicacy) to approach and clasp 
her knees, as suppliants should, but standing far off, 
addressed this speech to the young princess. 

"Before I presume rudely to press my petitions, I 
should first ask whether I am addressing a mortal woman, 
or one of the goddesses. If a goddess, you seem to me 
to be likest to Diana, the chaste huntress, the daughter 
of Jove. Like hers are your lineaments, your stature, 
your features, and air divine." 


She making answer that she was no goddess, but a 
mortal maid, he continued : 

" If a woman, thrice blessed are both the authors of 
your birth, thrice blessed are your brothers, who even to 
rapture must have joy in your perfections, to see you 
grown so like a young tree, and so graceful But most 
blessed of all that breathe is he that has the gift to 
engage your young neck in the yoke of marriage. I never 
saw that man that was worthy of you. I never saw man 
or woman that at all parts equalled you. Lately at 
Delos (where I touched) I saw a young palm which grew 
beside Apollo's temple ; it exceeded all the trees which 
ever I beheld for straightness and beauty : I can compare 
you only to that A stupor past admiration strikes me, 
joined with fear, which keeps me back from approaching 
you, to embrace your knees. Nor is it strange ; for one 
of freshest and firmest spirit would falter, approaching 
near to so bright an object : but I am one whom a cruel 
habit of calamity has prepared to receive strong impres- 
sions. Twenty days the unrelenting seas have tossed me 
up and down coming from Ogygia, and at length cast me 
shipwrecked last night upon your coast. I have seen no 
man or woman since I landed but yourself. All that I 
crave is clothes, which you may spare me, and to be 
shown the way to some neighbouring town. The gods 
who have care of strangers, wiU requite you for these 

She, admiring to hear such complimentary words pro- 
ceed out of the mouth of one whose outside looked so 
rough and unpromising, made answer : " Stranger, I dis- 
cern neither sloth nor folly in you, and yet I see that you 
are poor and wretched ; from which I gather that neither 
wisdom nor industry can secure felicity; only Jove 
bestows it upon whomsoever he pleases. He perhaps has 
reduced you to this plight. However, since your wander- 
ings have brought you so near to our city, it lies in our 
duty to supply your wants. Clothes and what else a 
human hand should give to one so suppliant, and so 


tamed with calamity, you shall not want. We will show 
you our city and teU you the name of our people. This 
is the land of the Phseacians, of which my father Alcinous 
is king." 

Then calling her attendants, who had dispersed on the 
first sight of Ulysses, she rebuked them for their fear, 
and said : " This man is no Cyclop, nor monster of sea 
or land, that you should fear him; but he seems 
manly, staid, and discreet, and though decayed in his 
outward appearance, yet he has the mind's riches,— wit 
and fortitude, in abundance. Show him the cisterns 
where he may wash him from the sea-weeds and foam 
that hang about him, and let him have garments that 
fit him out of those which we have brought with us to 
the cisterns." 

Ulysses, retiring a little out of sight, cleansed him in 
the cisterns from the soil and impurities with which the 
rocks and waves had covered all his body, and clothing 
himself with befittmg raiment, which the princess' 
attendants had given him, he presented himself in more 
worthy shape to Nausicaa. She admired to see what a 
comely personage he was, now he was dressed in all parts ; 
she thought him some king or hero : and secretly wished 
that the gods would be pleased to give her such a 

Then causing her attendants to yoke her mules, and 
lay up the vestments, which the sun's heat had sufficiently 
dried, in the coach, she ascended with her maids, and 
drove off to the palace ; bidding Ulysses, as she departed, 
keep an eye upon the coach, and to follow it on foot at 
some distance : which she did, because if she had suffered 
him to have rode in the coach with her, it might have 
subjected her to some misconstructions of the common 
people, who are always ready to vilify and censure their 
betters, and to suspect that charity is not always pure 
charity, but that love or some sinister intention lies hid 
under its disguise. So discreet and attentive to appear- 
ance in all her actions was this admirable princess. 


UlysseB, aa he entered the city, wondered to see its 
magnificence, its markets, buildings, temples; its walls 
and rampires ; its trade and resort of men ; its harbours 
for shipping, which is the strength of the Fhseacian state. 
But when he approached the palace, and beheld its riches, 
the proportion of its architecture, its ayenues, gardens, 
statues, fountains, he stood rapt in admiration, and 
almost forgot his own condition in surveying the flourish- 
ing estate of others : but. recollecting himself, he passed 
on boldly into the inner apartment, where the king and 
queen were sitting at dinner with their peers ; Nausicaa 
having prepared them for his approach. 

To them, humbly kneeling, he made it his request, that 
since fortune had cast him naked upon their shores, they 
would take him into their protection, and grant him a 
conveyance by one of the ships, of which their great 
Phseacian state had such good store, to carry him to his 
own country. Having delivered his request, to grace it 
with more humility, he went and sat himself down upon 
the hearth among the ashes, as the custom was in those 
days when any would make a petition to the throna 

He seemed a petitioner of so great state and of so 
superior a deportment, that Alcinous himself arose to do 
him honour, and causing him to leave that abject station 
which he had assumed, placed him next to his throne, 
upon a chair of state, and thus he spake to his peers : 

" Lords and counsellors of Phseacia, ye see this man, 
who he is we know not, that is come to us in the guise 
of a petitioner : he seems no mean one ; but whoever he 
is, it is fit, since the gods have cast him upon our protec- 
tion, that we grant him the rites of hospitality while he 
stays with us, and at his departure a ship well manned 
to convey so worthy a personage as he seems to be in a 
manner suitable to his rank, to his own country." 

This counsel the peers with one consent approved ; 
and wine and meat being set before Ulysses, he ate and 
drank, and gave the gods thanks who had stirred up the 
royal bounty of Alcinous to aid him in that extremity. 


But not as yet did he reveal to the king and queen who 
he was, or whence he had come ; only in brief terms he 
related his being cast upon their shores, his sleep in the 
woods, and his meeting with the princess Kausicaa: 
whose generosity, mingled with discretion, filled her 
parents with delight, as Ulysses in eloquent phrases 
adorned and commended her virtues. But Alcinous, 
humanely considering that the troubles which his guest 
had undergone required rest, as well as refreshment by 
food, dismissed him early in the evening to his chamber ; 
where in a magnificent apartment Ulysses found a 
smoother bed, but not a sounder- repose, than he had 
eiyoyed the night before, sleeping upon leaves which he 
had scraped together in his necessity. 

Chapter VIL 

The songs of Demodocus — ^The convoy home — ^The mariners trans- 
formed to stone — The young shepherd. 

When it was day -light, Alcinous caused it to be pro- 
claimed by the heralds about the town that there was 
come to the palace a stranger, shipwrecked on their coast, 
that in mien and person resembled a god ; and inviting 
all the chief people of the city to come and do honour to 
the stranger. 

The palace was quickly filled with guests, old and 
young, for whose cheer, and to grace Ulysses more, 
Alcinous made a kingly feast, with banquetings and 
music. Then Ulysses being seated at a table next the 
king and queen, in all men's view ; after they had feasted, 
Alcinous ordered Demodocus, the court-singer, to be called 
to sing some song of the deeds of heroes, to charm the 
ear of his guest. Demodocus came and reached his harp, 
where it hung between two pillars of silver ; and then 
the blind singer, to whom, in recompense of his lost 
sight, the muses had given an inward discernment, a 


soul and a voice to excite the hearts of men and gods to 
delight, began in grave and solemn strains to sing the 
glories of men highliest famed. He chose a poem, whose 
subject was the stem strife stirred up between Ulysses 
and great Achilles, as at a banquet sacred to the gods in 
dreadful language they expressed their difference ; while 
Agamemnon sat rejoiced in soul to hear those Grecians 
jar : for the oracle in Pytho had told him that the period 
of their wars in Troy should then be, when the kings of 
Greece, anxious to arrive at the wished conclusion, should 
fall to strife, and contend which must end the war, force 
or stratagem. 

This brave contention he expressed so to the life, in 
the very words which they both used in the quarrel, as 
brought tears into the eyes of Ulysses at the remembrance 
of past passages of his Hfe, and he held his large purple 
weed before his face to conceal it. Then craving a cup 
of wine, he poured it out in secret libation to the gods, 
who had put into the mind of Demodocus unknowingly 
to do him so much honour. But when the moving poet 
began to tell of other occurrences where Ulysses had 
been present, the memory of his brave followers who had 
been with him in all difficulties, now swallowed up and 
lost in the ocean, and of those kings that had fought 
with him at Troy, some of whom were dead, some exiles 
like himself, forced itself so strongly upon his mind, that 
forgetful where he was, he sobbed outright with passion ; 
which yet he restrained, but not so cunningly but AJcinous 
perceived it, and without taking notice of it to Ulysses, 
privately gave signs that Demodocus should cease from 
his singing. 

Next followed dancing in the Phaeacian fashion, when 
they would show respect to their guests; which was 
succeeded by trials of skill, games of strength, running, 
racing, hurling of the quoit, mock fights, hurling of the 
javelin, shooting with the bow ; in some of which Ulysses 
modestly challenging his entertainers, performed such 
feats of strength and prowess as gave the admiring 


Phseacians fresh reason to imagine that he was either 
some god or hero of the race of the gods. 

These solemn shows and pageants in honour of his 
guest, king Aldnous continued for the space of many 
days, as if he could never be weary of showing courtesies 
to so worthy a stranger. In all this time he never asked 
him his name, nor sought to know more of him than he 
of his own accord disclosed : tUl on a day as they were 
seated feasting, after the feast was ended, Demodocus 
being called, as was the custom, to sing some grave 
matter, sang how Ulysses, on that night when Troy was 
fired, made dreadful proof of his valour, maintaining 
singly a combat against the whole household of Deipho- 
bus, to which the divine expresser gave both act and 
passion, and breathed such a fire into Ulysses' deeds, 
that it inspired old death with life in the lively express- 
ing of slaughters, and rendered life so sweet and passionate 
in the hearers, that all who heard felt it fleet from them 
in the narration : which made Ulysses even pity his own 
slaughterous deeds, and feel touches of remorse, to see 
how song can revive a dead man from the grave, yet no 
way can it defend a living man from death : and in 
imagination he underwent some part of death's horrors, 
and felt in his living body a taste of those dying pangs 
which he had dealt to others ; that with the strong con- 
ceit, tears (the true interpreters of unutterable emotion) 
stood in his eyes. 

Which, king Alcinous noting, and that this was now 
the second time that he had perceived him to be moved 
at the mention of events touching the Trojan wars, he 
took occasion to ask whether his guest had lost any friend 
or kinsman at Troy, that Demodocus' singing had 
brought into his mind. Then Ulysses, drying the tears 
with his cloak, and observing that the eyes of all the 
company were upon him, desirous to give them satisfac- 
tion in what he could, and thinking this a fit time to 
reveal his true name and destination, spake as follows : 

" The courtesies which ye all have shown me, and in 


particular yourself and princely daughter, king Alcinous, 
demand from me that I should no longer keep you in 
ignorance of what or who I am ; for to reserve any secret 
from you, who have with such openness of friendship 
embraced my love, would argue either a pusillanimous 
or an ungrateful mind in me. Know then that I am 
that Ulysses, of whom I perceive ye have heard some- 
thing; who heretofore have filled the world with the 
renown of my policies. I am he by whose counsels, if 
Fame is to be believed at all, more than by the united 
valour of all the Grecians, Troy fell. I am that unhappy 
man whom the heavens and angry gods have conspired to 
keep an exile on the seas, wandering to seek my home 
which still flies from me. The land which I am in quest 
of is Ithaca ; in whose ports some ship belonging to your 
navigation-famed Fhaeacian state may haply at some time 
have found a refuge from tempests. If ever you have 
experienced such kindness, requite it now, by granting 
to me, who am the king of that land, a passport to that 

Admiration seized all the court of Alcinous to behold 
in their presence one of the number of those heroes who 
fought at Troy, whose divine story had been made known 
to them by songs and poems, but of the truth they had 
little known, or rather they had hitherto accounted those 
heroic exploits as fictions and exaggerations of poets ; but 
having seen and made proof of the real Ulysses, they 
began to take those supposed inventions to be real verities, 
and the tale of Troy to be as true as it was delightful. 

Then king Alcinous made answer : " Thrice fortunate 
ought we to esteem our lot, in having seen and conversed 
with a man of whom report hath spoken so loudly, but, 
as it seems, nothing beyond the truth. Though we could 
desire no felicity greater than to have you always among 
us, renowned Ulysses, yet your desire having been ex- 
pressed so often and so deeply to return home, we can 
deny you nothing, though to our own loss. Our kingdom 
of Phaeacia, as you know, is chiefly rich in shipping. In 


all parts of the world, where there are navigable seas, or 
ships can pass, our vessels will be found. You cannot 
name a coast to which they do not resort. Every rock 
and deep quicksand is known to them that lurks in the 
vast deep. They pass a bird in flight ; and with such 
unerring certainly they make to their destination, that 
some have said they have no need of pilot or rudder, but 
that they move instinctively, self-directed, and know the 
minds of their voyagers. Thus much, that you may not 
fear to trust yourself in one of our Phaeacian ships. To- 
morrow if you please you shall launch forth. To-day 
spend with us in feasting: who never can do enough 
when the gods send such visitors." 

Ulysses acknowledged king Alcinous' bounty; and 
while these two royal personages stood interchanging 
courteous expressions, the heart of the princess Nausicaa 
was overcome ; she had been gazing attentively upon her 
father's guest as he delivered his speech, but when he 
came to that part where he declared himself to be Ulysses, 
she blessed herself and her fortune that in relieving a 
poor shipwrecked mariner, as he seemed no better, she 
had conferred a kindness on so divine a hero aa he proved : 
and scarce wailing tUl her father had done speaking, 
with a cheerful countenance she addressed Ulysses, bid- 
ding him be cheerful, and when he returned home, as by 
her father's means she trusted he would shortly, some- 
times to remember to whom he owed his life, and who 
met him in the woods by the river Calliroe. 

" Fair flower of Phseada," he replied, " so may all the 
gods bless me with the strife of joys in that desked day, 
whenever I shall see it, as I shall always acknowledge to 
be indebted to your fair hand for the ^t of life which I 
enjoy, and all the blessings which shall follow upon my 
home return. The gods give thee, Nausicaa, a princely 
husband; and from you two spring blessmgs to this 
state." So prayed Ulysses, his heart overflowing with 
admiration and grateM recollections of king Alcinous' 


Then at the king's request he gave them a brief rela- 
tion of all the adventures that had befallen him since he 
launched forth from Troy, during which the princess 
Nausicaa took great delight (as ladies are commonly 
taken with these kind of travellers' stories) to hear of 
the monster Polyphemus, of the men that devour each 
other in Laestrygonia, of the enchantress Circe, of Scylla, 
and the rest; to which she listened with a breathless 
attention, letting fall a shower of tears from her fair eyes 
every now and then, when Ulysses told of some more 
than usual distressful passage in his travels : and all the 
rest of his auditors, if they had before entertained a high 
respect for their guest, now felt their veneration increased 
tenfold, when they learnt from his own mouth what 
perils, what sufferings, what endurance, of evils beyond 
man's strength to support, this much-sustaining, ahnost 
heavenly man, by the greatness of his mind, and by his 
invincible courage, had struggled through. 

The night was far spent before Ulysses had ended his 
narrative, and with wishful glances he cast his eyes 
towards the eastern parts, which the sun had begun to 
flecker with his first red.: for on the morrow Alcinous had 
promised that a bark should be in readiness to convoy 
him to Ithaca. 

In the morning a vessel well manned and appointed 
was waiting for him; into which the king and queen 
heaped presents of gold and silver, massy plate, apparel, 
armour, and whatsoever things of cost or rarity they 
judged would be most acceptable to their guest : and the 
sails being set, Ulysses embarking with expressions of 
regret took his leave of his royal entertainers, of the fair 
princess (who had been his first friend), and of the peers 
of Phseacia; who crowding down to the beach to have 
the last sight of their illustrious visitant, beheld the 
gaUant ship with aU her canvas spread, bounding and 
curveting over the waves, like a horse proud of his rider ; 
or as if she knew that in her capacious womb's rich 
freightage she bore Ulysses. 



He whose life past had been a series of disquiets, in 
seas among rude waves, in battles amongst ruder foes, 
now slept securely, forgetting all ; his eyelids bound in 
such deep sleep, as only yielded to death ; and when they 
reached the nearest Ithacan port by the next morning, 
he was still asleep. The mariners not willing to awake 
him, landed him softly, and laid him in a cave at the 
foot of an olive-tree, which made a shady recess in that 
narrow harbour, the haunt of almost none but the sear 
nymphs, which are called Naiads ; few ships before this 
Phseacian vessel having put into that haven, by reason 
of the difficulty and narrowness of the entrance. Here 
leaving him asleep, and disposing in safe places near him 
the presents with which king Alcinous had dismissed 
him, they departed for Phseacia; where these wretched 
mariners never again set foot ; but just as they arrived, • 
and thought to salute their country earth ; in sight of 
their city's turrets, and in open view of their friends who 
from the harbour with shouts greeted their return ; their 
vessel and all the mariners which were in her were 
turned to stone, and stood transformed and fixed in sight 
of the whole PhaBacian city, where it yet stands, by 
Neptune's vindictive wrath; who resented thus highly 
the contempt which those Phseacians had shown in con- 
voying home a man whom the god had destined to 
destruction. Whence it comes to pass that the Phseacians 
at this day will at no price be induced to lend their ships 
to strangers, or to become the carriers for other nations, 
so highly do they still dread the displeasure of the sea- 
god, while they see that terrible monument ever in 

When Ulysses awoke, which was not till some time 
afber the mariners had departed, he did not at first know 
his country again, either that long absence had made it 
strange, or that Minerva (which was more likely) had 
cast a cloud about his eyes, that he should have greater 
pleasure hereafter in discovering his mistake : but like a 
man suddenly awaking in some desert isle, to which his 


sea-mates have transported him in his sleep, he looked 
around, and discerning no known objects, he cast his 
hands to heaven for pity, and complained on those ruth- 
less men who had beguiled him with a promise of con- 
veying him home to his country, and perfidiously left him 
to perish in an unknown land. But then the rich presents 
of gold and silver given him by Alcinous, which he saw 
carefully laid up in secure places near him, staggered 
him : which seemed not like the act of wrongful or unjust 
men, such as turn pirates for gain, or land helpless pas- 
sengers in remote coasts to possess themselves of their 

While he remained in this suspense, there came up to 
him a young shepherd, clad in the finer sort of apparel, 
such as kings' sons wore in those days when princes did 
not disdain to tend sheep, who accosting him, was saluted 
again by Ulysses, who asked him what country that was, 
on which he had been just landed, and whether it were 
a part of a continent or an island. The young shepherd 
made show of wonder, to hear any one ask the name of 
that land ; as coimtry people are apt to esteem those for 
mainly ignorant and barbarous who do not know the 
names of places which are familiar to them, though per- 
haps they who ask have had no opportunities of knowing, 
and may have come fix)m far countries. 

" I had thought," said he, " that all people knew our 
land. It is rocky and barren, to be sure; but well 
enough : it feeds a goat or an ox well ; it is not wanting 
neither in wine nor in wheat; it has good springs of 
water, some fair rivers ; and wood enough, as you may 
see : it is called Ithaca.'' 

Ulysses was joyed enough to find himself in his own 
country ; but so prudently he carried his joy, that dis- 
sembling his true name and quality, he pretended to the 
shepherd that he was only some foreigner who by stress 
of weather had put into that port ; and framed on the 
sudden a story to make it plausible, how he had come 
from Crete in a ship of Phseada ; when the young shep- 


herd laughing, and taking Ulysses' hand in both his, 
said to him : " He must be cunning, I find, who thinks 
to overreach you. What, cannot you quit your wiles and 
your subtleties, now that you are in a state of security 1 
must the first word with which you salute your native 
earth be an untruth? and think you that you are un- 

Ulysses looked again; and he saw, not a shepherd, 
but a beautiful woman, whom he immediately knew to 
be the goddess Minerva, that in the wars of Troy had 
firequently vouchsafed her sight to him; and had been 
with him since in perils, saving him unseen. 

" Let not my ignorance offend thee, great Minerva," 
he cried, " or move thy displeasure, that in that shape I 
knew thee not ; since the skill of discerning the deities is 
not attainable by wit or study, but hard to be hit by the 
wisest of mortals. To know thee truly through all thy 
changes is only given to those whom thou art pleased to 
grace. To all men thou takest all likenesses. All men 
in their wits think that they know thee, and that they 
have thee. Thou art wisdom itself. But a semblance of 
thee, which is false wisdom, often is taken for thee : so 
thy counterfeit view appears to many, but thy true presence 
to few : those are they which, loving thee above all, are 
inspired with light fix)m thee to know thee. But this I 
surely know, that all the time the sons of Greece waged 
war against Troy, I was sundry times graced with thy 
appearance ; but since, I have never been able to set eyes 
upon thee till now ; but have wandered at my own dis- 
cretion, to myself a blind guide, erring up and down the 
world, wanting thee." 

Then Minerva cleared his eyes, and he knew the 
ground on which he stood to be Ithaca, and that cave to 
be the same which the people of Ithaca had in former 
times made sacred to the searuymphs, and where he him- 
self had done sacrifices to them a thousand times ; and 
fuU in his view stood Mount Nerytus with all its woods : 
so that now he knew for a certahity that he was arrived 


in his own country, and with the delight which he felt he 
could not forbear stooping down and kissing the soil 

Chaptee VIII. 

The change from a king to a beggar — ^EumsBna and the 
herdsmen — Telemachns. 

Not long did Minerva suffer him to indulge vain trans- 
ports, but briefly recounting to him the events which had 
taken place in Ithaca during his absence, she showed him 
that his way to his wife and throne did not lie so open, 
but that before he was reinstated in the secure possession 
of them, he must encounter many dif&culties. His palace, 
wanting its king, was become a resort of insolent and 
imperious men, the chief nobility of Ithaca and of the 
neighbouring isles, who, in the confidence of Ulysses 
being dead, came as suitors to Penelope. The queen (it 
was true) continued single, but was little better than a 
state-prisoner in the power of these men, who under a 
pretence of waiting her decision, occupied the king's house, 
rather as owners than guests, lording and domineering at 
their pleasure, profaning the palace, and wasting the royal 
substance, with their feasts and mad riots. Moreover the 
goddess told him how, fearing the attempts of these law- 
less men upon the person of his young son Telemachus, 
she herself had put it into the heart of the prince to go 
and seek his father in far countries ; how in the shape of 
Mentor she had borne him company in his long search ; 
which, though fedling, as she meant it should fail, in its 
first object, had yet had this effect, that through hard- 
ships he had learned endurance, through experience he 
had gathered wisdom, and wherever his footsteps had 
been he had left such memorials of his worth, as the 
fame of Ulysses' son was already blown throughout the 
world. That it was now not many days since Telemachus 
had arrived in the island, to the great joy of the queen 


his mother, who had thought him dead, by reason of his 
long absence, and had begun to mourn for him with a 
grief equal to that which she endured for Ulysses ; the 
goddess herself having so ordered the course of his adven- 
tures, that the time of his return should correspond with 
the return of Ulysses, that they might together concert 
measures how to repress the power and insolence of those 
wicked suitors. This the goddess told him ; but of the 
particulars of his son's adventures, of his having been 
detained in the Delightful Island, which his father had 
so lately left, of Calypso, and her nymphs, and the many 
strange occurrences which may be read with profit and 
delight in the history of the prince's adventures, she 
forbore to tell him as yet, as judging that he would hear 
them with greater pleasure from the lips of his son, when 
he should have him in an hour of stillness and safety, 
when their work should be done, and none of their 
enemies left alive to trouble them. 

Then they sat down, the goddess and Ulysses, at the 
foot of a wild olive-tree, consulting how they might with 
safety bring about his restoration. And when Ulysses 
revolved in his mind how that his enemies were a multi- 
tude, and he single, he began to despond, and he said, " I 
shall die an ill death like Agamemnon ; in the threshold 
of my own house I shall perish, like that unfortunate 
monarch, slain by some one of my wife's suitors." But 
then again calling to mind his ancient courage, he secretly 
wished that Miuerva would but breathe such a spirit 
into his bosom as she enflamed him with in the day of 
Troy's destruction, that he might encounter with three 
hundred of those impudent suitors at once, and strew the 
pavements of his beautiful palace with their bloods and 

And Minerva knew his thoughts, and she said, '^I 
will be strongly with thee, if thou fail not to do thy part. 
And for a sign between us that I will perform my promise, 
and for a token on thy part of obedience, I must change 
thee, that thy person may not be known of men." 


Then Ulysses bowed his head to receive the divine 
impression, and Minerva by her great power changed his 
person so that it might not be known. She changed him 
to appearance into a very old man, yet such a one as by 
his limbs and gait seemed to have been some considerable 
person in his time, and to retain yet some remains of his 
once prodigious strength. Also, instead of those rich 
robes in which king Alcinous had clothed him, she threw 
over his limbs such old and tattered rags as wandering 
beggars usually wear. A staff supported his steps, and a 
scrip hung to his back, such as travellmg mendicants use, 
to hold the scraps which are given to them at rich men's 
doors. So from a king he became a beggar, as wise 
Tiresias had predicted to him in the shades. 

To complete his humiliation, and to prove his obedience 
by suffering, she next directed him in this beggarly attire 
to go and present himself to his old herdsman Eumseus, 
who had the care of his swine and his cattle, and had 
been a faithful steward to him all the time of his absence. 
Then strictly charging Ulysses that he should reveal 
himself to no man but to his own son, whom she would 
send to him when she saw occasion, the goddess went her 

The transformed Ulysses bent his course to the cottage 
of the herdsman, and entering in at the front court, the 
dogs, of which Eumseus kept many fierce ones for the 
protection of the cattle, flew with open mouths upon him, 
as those ignoble animals have oftentimes an antipathy to 
the sight of anything like a beggar, and would have rent 
him in pieces with their teeth, if Ulysses had not had the 
prudence to let fall his staff, which had chiefly provoked 
their fuiy, and sat himself down in a careless fashion 
upon the ground ; but for all that some serious hurt had 
certainly been done to him, so raging the dogs were, had 
not the herdsman, whom the barking of the dogs had 
fetched out of the house, with shouting and with throwbg 
of stones repressed them. 

He said, when he saw Ulysses, " Old father, how near 


you were to being torn in pieces by these rude dogs ! I 
should never have forgiven myself, if through neglect of 
mine any hurt had happened to you. But heaven has 
given me so many cares to my portion, that I might well 
be excused for not attending to everything : while here I 
lie grieving and mourning for the absence of that majesty 
which once ruled here, and am forced to fatten his swine 
and his cattle for evil men, who hate him, and who wish 
his death ; when he perhaps strays up and down the world, 
and has not wherewith to appease hunger, if indeed he 
yet lives (which is a question) and eiyoys the cheerful 
light of the sun." This he said, little thinking that he 
of whom he spoke now stood before him, and that in 
that uncouth disguise and beggarly obscurity was present 
the hidden majesty of Ulysses. 

Then he had his guest into the house, and set meat 
and drink before him ; and Ulysses said, " May Jove and 
all the other gods requite you for the kind speeches and 
hospitable usage which you have shown me ! " 

Eum8BUs made answer, "My poor guest, if one in 
much worse plight than yourself had arrived here, it were 
a shame to such scanty means as I have, if I had let him 
depart without entertaming him to the best of my ability. 
Poor men, and such as have no houses of their own, are 
by Jove himself recommended to our care. But the 
cheer which we that are servants to other men have to 
bestow, is but sorry at most, yet freely and lovingly I 
give it you. Indeed there once ruled here a man, whose 
return the gods have set their faces against, who, if he 
had been suffered to reign in peace and grow old among 
us, would have been kind to me and mine. But he is 
gone; and for his sake would to God that the whole 
posterity of Helen might perish with her, since in her 
quarrel so many worthies have perished. But such as 
your fare is, eat it, and be welcome ; such lean beasts as 
are food for poor herdsmen. The fattest go to feed the 
voracious stomachs of the queen's suitors. Shame on 
their unworthiness there is no day in which two or three 


of the noblest of the herd are not slain to support their 
feasts and their surfeits." 

Ulysses gave good ear to his words, and as he ate his 
meat, he even tore it and rent it with his teeth, for mere 
vexation that his fat cattle should be slain to glut the 
appetites of those godless suitors. And he said, " What 
chief or what ruler is this, that thou commendest so 
highly, and sayest that he perished at Troy ? I am but 
a stranger in these parts. It may be I have heard of 
some such in my long travels." 

Eumseus answered, " Old father, never one of all the 
strangers that have come to our coast with news of 
Ulysses being alive, could gain credit with the queen or 
her son yet. These travellers, to get raiment or a meal, 
will not stick to invent any lie. Truth m not the com- 
modity they deal in. Never did the queen get anything 
of them but lies. She receives all that come graciously, 
hears their stories, inquires aU she can, but aU ends in 
tears and dissatisfaction. But in God's name, old father, 
if you have got a tale, make the most on't, it may gain 
you a cloak or a coat from somebody to keep you warm : 
but for him who is the subject of it, dogs and vultures 
long since have torn him limb from limb, or some great 
fish at sea has devoured him, or he lieth with no better 
monument upon his bones than the searsand. But for 
me, past all the race of men, were tears created : for I 
never shall find so kind a royal master more ; not if my 
father or my mother could come again and visit me from 
the tomb, would my eyes be so blessed, as they should 
be with the sight of him again, coming as from the dead. 
In his last rest my soul shall love him. He is not here, 
nor do I name him as a flatterer, but because I am 
thankful for his love and care which he had to me a poor 
man ; and if I knew surely that he were past all shores 
that the sun shines upon, I would invoke him as a deified 

For this saying of Eumseus the waters stood in Ulysses' 
eyes, and he said, " My friend, to say and to affirm posi- 


tively that he cannot be alive, is to give too much license 
to incredulity. For, not to speak at random, but with 
as much solemnity as an oath comes to, I say to you that 
Ulysses shall return, and whenever that day shall be, 
then shall you give to me a cloak and a coat ; but till then, 
I will not receive so much as a thread of a garment, but 
rather go naked ; for no less than the gates of hell do I 
hate that man, whom poverty can force to tell an untruth. 
Be Jove then witness to my words, that this very year, 
nay ere this month be fiilly ended, your eyes shall behold 
Ulysses, dealing vengeance in his own palace upon the 
wrongers of his wife and his son." 

To give the better credence to his words, he amused 
EumsBUS with a forged stoiy of his life, feigning of him- 
self that he was a Cretan born, and one that went with 
Idomeneus to the wars of Troy. Also he said that he 
knew Ulysses, and related various passages which he 
alleged to have happened betwixt Ulysses and himself, 
which were either true in the main, as having really 
happened between Ulysses and some other person, or 
were so like to truth, as corresponding with the known 
character and actions of Ulysses that EumsBus' incredulity 
was not a little shaken. Among other things he asserted 
that he had lately been entertained in the court of Thes- 
protia, where the king's son of the country had told him, 
that Ulysses had been there but just before him, and 
was gone upon a voyage to the oracle of Jove in Dodona, 
whence he should shortly return, and a ship would be 
ready by the bounty of the Thesprotians to convoy him 
straight to Ithaca. " And in token that what I tell you 
is true," said Ulysses, " if your king come not within the 
period which I have named, you shall have leave to give 
your servants commandment to take my old carcass, and 
throw it headlong from some steep rock into the sea, that 
poor men, taking example by me, may fear to lie." But 
Eumaeus made answer that that should be small satisfac- 
tion or pleasure to him. 

So while they sat discoursing in this manner, supper 


was served in, and the servants of the herdsman, who 
had been out all day in the fields, came in to supper, and 
took their seats at the fire, for the night was bitter and 
frosty. After supper, Ulysses, who had well eaten and 
drunken, and was refireshed with the herdsman's good 
cheer, was resolved to try whether his host's hospitality 
would extend to the lending him a good warm mantle or 
rug to cover him in the night-season ; and framing an 
artful tale for the purpose, in a merry mood, filling a cup 
of Greek wine, he thus began ; 

" I will you a story of your king Ulysses and myself. 
If there is ever a time when a man may have leave to 
tell his own stories, it is when he has drunken a little 
too much. Strong liquor driveth the fool, and moves 
even the heart of the wise, moves and impels him to sing 
and to dance, and break forth in pleasant laughters, and 
perchance to prefer a speech too which were better kept 
in. When the heart is open, the tongue will be stirring. 
But you shall hear. We led our powers to ambush once 
under the walls of Troy." 

The herdsmen crowded about him eager to hear any- 
thing which related to their king Ulysses and the wars 
of Troy, and thus he went on : 

" I remember Ulysses and Menelaus had the direction 
of that enterprise, and they were pleased to join me with 
them in the command. I was at that time in some 
repute among men, though fortune has played me a trick 
since, as you may perceive. But I was somebody in those 
times, and could do something. Be that as it may, a 
bitter freezing night it was, such a night as this, the air 
cut like steel, and the sleet gathered on our shields like 
crystal. There was some twenty of us that lay close 
crouched down among the reeds and bulrushes that grew 
in the moat that goes round the city. The rest of us made 
tolerable shift, for every man had been careful to bring 
with him a good cloak or mantle to wrap over his armour 
and keep himself warm ; but I, as it chanced, had left 
my cloak behind me, as not expecting that the night 


would prove so cool, or rather I believe because I had at 
that time a brave suit of new armour on, which being a 
soldier, and having some of the soldier's vice about me, 
vanity, I was not willing should be hidden under a doak ; 
but I paid for my indiscretion with my sufferings, for the 
inclement night, and the wet of the ditch in which we 
lay, I was well-nigh frozen to death ; and when I could 
endure no longer, I jogged Ulysses, who was next to me, 
and had a nimble ear, and make known my case to him, 
assuring him that I must inevitably perisL He answered 
in a low whisper, * Hush, lest any Greek should hear you, 
and take notice of your softness.' Not a word more he 
said, but showed as if he had no pity for the plight I was 
in. But he was as considerate as he was brave, and even 
then, as he lay with his head reposing upon his hand, he 
was meditating how to relieve me, without exposing my 
weakness to the soldiers. At last raising up his head, 
he made as if he had been asleep, and said, ' Friends, I 
have been warned in a dream to send to the fleet to king 
Agamemnon for a supply, to recruit our numbers, for we 
are not sufficient for this enterprise ; ' and they beHeving 
him, one Thoas was despatched on that errand, who 
departing, for more speed, as Ulysses had foreseen, left 
his upper garment behind him, a good warm mantle, to 
which I succeeded, and by the help of it got through the 
night with credit. This shift Ulysses made for one in 
need, and would to heaven that I had now that strength 
in my limbs, which made me in those days to be accounted 
fit to be a leader under Ulysses ! I should not then 
want the loan of a cloak or mantle, to wrap about me 
and shield my old limbs from the night-air." 

The tale pleased the herdsmen; and Eumseus, who 
more than all the rest was gratified to hear tales of 
Ulysses, true or false, said, that for his story he deserved 
a mantle and a night's lodging, which he should have ; 
and he spread for him a bed of goat and sheep skins by 
the fire ; and the seeming beggar, who was indeed the 
true Ulysses, lay down and slept under that poor roof. 


in that abject disguise to which the will of Minerva had 
subjected him. 

When morning was come, Ulysses made oflfer to 
depart, as if he were not willing to burthen his host's 
hospitality any longer, but said that he would go and 
try the humanity of the town's folk, if any there would 
bestow upon him a bit of bread or a cup of drink. 
Perhaps the queen's suitors (he said) out of their fiill 
feasts would bestow a scrap on him : for he could wait 
at table, if need were, and play the nimble serving-man, 
he could fetch wood (he said) or build a fire, prepare 
roast meat or boiled, mix the wine with water, or do any 
of those offices which recommended poor men like him to 
services in great men's houses. 

" Alas I poor guest," said Eumseus, " you know not 
what you speak. What should so poor and old a man 
as you do at the suitors' tables ? Their light minds are 
not given to such grave servitors. They must have 
youths, richly tricked out in flowing vests, with curled 
hair, hke so many of Jove's cup-bearers, to fill out the 
wine to them as they sit at table, and to shift their 
trenchers. Their gorged insolence would but despise and 
make a mock at thy age. Stay here. Perhaps the 
queen, or Telemachus, hearing of thy arrival, may send 
to thee of their bounty." 

As he spake these words, the steps of one crossing 
the front court were heard, and a noise of the dogs fawn- 
ing and leaping about as for joy ; by which token Eumseus 
guessed that it was the prince, who hearing of a traveller 
being arrived at Eumseus' cottage that brought tidings 
of his father, was come to search the truth, and Eumaeus 
said : *^ It is the tread of Telemachus, the son of king 
Ulysses." Before he could well speak the words, the 
prince was at the door, whom Ulysses rising to receive, 
Telemachus would not suffer that so aged a man, as he 
appeared, should rise to do respect to him, but he cour- 
teously and reverently took him by the hand, and inclined 
his head to him, as if he had surely known that it was 


his father indeed : but UlyBses covered his eyes with his 
hands, that he might not show the waters which stood 
in them. And Telemachus said, " Is this the man who 
can tell ns tidings of the king my father?" 

" He brags himself to be a Cretan bom,'' said Eumaeus, 
"and that he has been a soldier and a traveller, bat 
whether he speak the truth or not, he alone can tell. 
But whatsoever he has been, what he is now is apparent. 
Such as he appears, I give him to you ; do what you will 
with him ; his boast at present is that he is at the very 
best a supplicant." 

" Be he what he may," said Telemachus, " I accept 
him at your hands. But where I should bestow him I 
know not, seeing that in the palace his age would not 
exempt him from the scorn and contempt which my 
mother's suitors in their light minds would be sure to 
fling upon him. A mercy if he escaped without blows : 
for they are a company of evil men, whose profession is 
wrongs and violence." 

Ulysses answered : " Since it is free for any man to 
speak in presence of your greatness, I must say that my 
heart puts on a wolfish inclination to tear and to devour, 
hearing your speech, that these suitors should with such 
iiyustice rage, where you should have the rule solely. 
What should the cause be ? do you wilfully give way to 
their ill manners ? or has your government been such as 
has procured ill-will towards you from your people ? or 
do you mistrust your kinsfolk and friends in such sort, 
as without trial to decline their aid? a man's kindred 
are they that he might trust to when extremities ran 

Telemachus replied: "The kindred of Ulysses are 
few. I have no brothers to assist me in the strife. But 
the suitors are powerful in kindred and friends. The 
house of old Arcesius has had this fate from the heavens, 
that from old it still has been supplied with single heirs. 
To Arcesius Laertes only was bom, from Laertes descended 
only Ulysses, from Ulysses I alone have sprung, whom 


he left so young, that from me never comfort arose to 
him. But the end of all rests in the hands of the 

Then Eumseus departing to see to some necessary 
business of his herds, Minerva took a woman's shape, 
and stood in the entry of the door, and was seen to 
Ulysses, but by his son she was not seen, for the 
presences of the gods are invisible save to those to whom 
they will to reveal themselves. Nevertheless the dogs 
which were about the door saw the goddess, and durst 
not bark, but went crouching and licking of the dust for 
fear. And giving signs to Ulysses that the time was 
now come in which he should make himself known to 
his son, by her great power she changed back his shape 
into the same which it was before she transformed him ; 
and Telemachus, who saw the change, but nothing of 
the manner by which it was effected, only he saw the 
appearance of a king in the vigour of his age where but 
just now he had seen a worn and decrepit beggar, was 
struck with fear, and said, "Some god has done this 
house this honour," and he turned away his eyes, and 
would have worshipped. But his father permitted not, 
but said, " Look better at me ; I am no deity, why put 
you upon me the reputation of godhead 1 I am no more 
but thy father : I am even he ; I am that Ulysses, by 
reason of whose absence thy youth has been exposed to 
such wrongs from iiyurious men." Then kissed he his 
son, nor could any longer refrain those tears which he 
had held under such mighty restraint before, though 
they would ever be forcing themselves out in spite of 
him ; but now, as if their sluices had burst, they came 
out like rivers, pouring upon the warm cheeks of his son. 
Nor yet by all these violent arguments could Telemachus 
be persuaded to believe that it was his father, but he 
said, some deity had taken that shape to mock him ; for 
he aflfirmed, that it was not in the power of any man, 
who is sustained by mortal food, to change his shape so 
in a moment from age to youth : for " but now," said he, 


" you were all wrinkles, and were old, and now you look 
as the gods are pictured." 

His father replied : " Admire, but fear not, and know 
me to be at all parts substantially thy father, who in the 
inner powers of his mind, and the unseen workings of a 
father's love to thee, answers to his outward shape and 
pretence 1 There shall no more Ulysseses come here. I 
am he that after twenty years' absence, and suffering a 
world of ill, have recovered at last the sight of my country 
earth. It was the will of Minerva that I should be 
changed as you saw me. She put me thus together; 
she puts together or takes to pieces whom she pleases. 
It is in the law of her free power to do it : sometimes to 
show her favourites under a cloud, and poor, and again 
to restore to them their ornaments. The gods raise and 
throw down men with ease." 

Then Telemachus could hold out no longer, but he 
gave way now to a fuU belief and persuasion, of that 
which for joy at first he could not credit, that it was 
indeed his true and veiy father, that stood before him ; 
and they embraced, and mingled their tears. 

Then said Ulysses, " Tell me who these suitors are, 
what are their numbers, and how stands the queen thy 
mother affected to them V* 

"She bears them still in expectation," said Telemachus, 
" which she never means to fulfil, that she will accept 
the hand of some one of them in second nuptials. For 
she fears to displease them by an absolute refusal. So 
from day to day she lingers them on with hope, which 
they are content to bear the deferring of, while they have 
entertainment at firee cost in our palace." 

Then said Ulysses, "Reckon up their numbers that 
we may know their strength and ours, if we having none 
but ourselves may hope to prevail against them." 

"0 father," he replied, "I have ofttimes heard of 
your fame for wisdom, and of the great strength of your 
arm, but the venturous mind which your speeches now 
indicate moves me even to amazement : for in no wise 


can it consist with wisdom or a sound mind, that two 
should try their strengths against a host. Nor five, or 
ten, or twice ten strong are these suitors, but many more 
by much : firom Dulichium came there fifty and two, 
they and their servants ; twice twelve crossed the seas 
hither from Samos; from Zacynthus twice ten; of our 
native Ithacans, men of chief note, are twelve who aspire 
to the bed and crown of Penelope ; and aU these under 
one strong roof, a fearM odds against two 1 My father, 
there is need of caution, lest the cup which your great 
mind so thirsts to taste of vengeance prove bitter to 
yourself in the drinking. And therefore it were well 
that we would bethink us of some one who might assist 
us in this undertaking." 

" Thinkest thou," said his father, " if we had Minerva 
and the king of skies to be our friends, would their 
sufficiencies make strong our part ; or must we look out 
for some farther aid yet 1" 

" They you speak of are above the clouds," said Tele- 
machuB, " and are sound aids indeed ; as powers that not 
only exceed human, but bear the chiefest sway among 
the gods themselves." 

Then Ulysses gave directions to his son to go and 
mingle with the suitors, and in no wise to impart his 
secret to any, not even to the queen his mother, but to 
hold himself in readiness, and to have his weapons and 
his good armour in preparation. And he charged him, 
that when he himself should come to the palace, as he 
meant to follow shortly after and present himself in his 
beggar's likeness to the suitors, that whatever he should 
see which might grieve his heart, with what foul usage 
and contumelious language soever the suitors should re- 
ceive his father, coming in that shape, though they should 
strike and drag him by the heels along the floors, that 
he should not stir nor make offer to oppose them, further 
than by mild words to expostulate with them, until 
Minerva from heaven should give the sign which should 
be the prelude to their destruction. And Telemachus 



promising to obey his instructions departed; and the 
shape of Ulysses fell to what it had been before, and he 
became to all outward appearance a beggar, in base and 
beggarly attire. 

Ohapteb IX. 

The queen's snitors — The battle of the beggars — ^The armour 
taken down — The meeting with Penelope 

Fbom the house of Eumseus the seeming beggar took his 
way, leaning on his stafif, till he reached the palace, 
entering in at the hall where the suitors sat at meat. 
They in the pride of their feasting began to break their 
jests in mirthful manner, when they saw one looking so 
poor and so aged approach. He who expected no better 
entertainment was nothing moved at their behaviour, 
but, as became the character which he had assimied, in 
a suppliant posture crept by turns to every suitor, and 
held out his hands for some charity, with such a natural 
and beggar-resembling grace, that he might seem to have 
practised begging all his liife; yet there was a sort of 
dignity in his most abject stoopings, that whoever had 
seen him, would have said, If it had pleased heaven that 
this poor man had been bom a king, he would gracefully 
have filled a throne. And some pitied him, and some 
gave him alms, as their present humours inclined them, 
but the greater part reviled him, and bid him begone, as 
one that spoiled their feast ; for the presence of misery 
has this power with it, that while it stays, it can dash 
and overturn the mirth even of those who feel no pity 
or wish to reUeve it ; nature bearing this witness of her- 
self in the hearts of the most obdurate. 

Now Telemachus sat at meat with the suitors, and 
knew that it was the king his father, who in that shape 
begged an alms; and when his father came and pre- 
sented himself before him in turn, as he had done to the 
suitors one by one, he gave him of his own meat which 


he had in his dish, and of his own cup to drink. And 
the suitors were past measure offended to see a pitiful 
beggar, as they esteemed him, to be so choicely regarded 
by the prince. 

Then Antinous, who was a great lord, and of chief 
note among the suitors, said, " Prince Telemachus does 
ill to encourage these wandering beggars, who go from 
place to place, afl&rming that they have been some con- 
siderable persons in their time, filling the ears of such as 
hearken to them with lies, and pressing with their bold 
feet into kings' palaces. This is some saucy vagabond, 
some travelling Egyptian." 

" I see," said Ulysses, " that a poor man should get 
but little at your board, scarce should he get salt from 
your hands if he brought his own meat." 

Lord Antinous, indignant to be answered with such 
sharpness by a supposed beggar, snatched up a stool, 
with which he smote Ulysses where the neck and shoulders 
join. This usage moved not Ulysses ; but in his great 
heart he meditated deep evils to come upon them all, 
which for a time must be kept close, and he went and 
sat himself down in the doorway to eat of that which 
was given him, and he said, " For life or possessions a 
man will fight, but for his belly this man smites. If a 
poor man has any god to take his part, my lord Antinous 
shall not live to be the queen's husband." 

Then Antinous raged highly, and threatened to drag 
him by the heels, and to rend his rags about his ears, if 
he spoke another word. 

But the other suitors did in no wise approve of the 
harsh language, nor of the blow which Antinous had 
dealt ; and some of them said, " Who knows but one of 
the deities goes about, hid under that poor disguise 1 for 
in the likeness of poor pilgrims the gods have many times 
descended to try the dispositions of men, whether they 
be humane or impious." While these things passed, 
Telemachus sat and observed all, but held his peace, 
remembering the instructions of his father. But secretly 


he waited for the sign which Minerva was to send from 

That day there followed Ulysses to the court one of 
the common sort of beggars, Irus by name, one that had 
received alms beforetime of the suitors, and was their 
ordinary sport, when they were inclined (as that day) to 
give way to mirth, to see him eat and dnnk ; for he had 
the appetite of six men; and was of huge stature -and 
proportions of body ; yet had in him no spirit nor courage 
of a man. This man, thinking to cuny favour with the 
suitors, and recommend himself especially to such a great 
lord as Antinous was, began to revile and scorn Ulysses, 
putting foul language upon him, and fairly challenging 
him to fight with the fist. But Ulysses, deeming his 
railings to be nothing more than jealousy and that envious 
disposition which beggars commonly manifest to brothers 
in their trade, mildly besought him not to trouble him, 
but to eiyoy that portion which the liberality of their 
entertainers gave him, as he did, quietly ; seeing that of 
their bounty there was sufficient for alL 

But Irus, thinking that this forbearance in Ulysses 
was nothing more than a sign of fear, so much the more 
highly stormed, and bellowed, and provoked him to fight ; 
and by this time the quarrel had attracted the notice of 
the suitors, who with loud laughters and shouting egged 
on the dispute, and lord Antinous swore by all the gods 
it should be a battle, and that in that hall the strife 
should be determined. To this the rest of the suitors 
with violent clamours acceded, and a circle was made for 
the combatants, and a fat goat was proposed as the 
victor's prize, as at the Olympic or the Pythian games. 
Then Ulysses, seeing no remedy, or being not unwilling 
that the suitors should behold some proof of that strength 
which ere long in their own persons they were to taste of, 
stripped himself, and prepared for the combat. But first 
he demanded that he should have fair play shown him, 
that none in that assembly should aid his opponent, or 
take part against him, for, being an old man, they might 


easily crash him with their strengths. And Telemachus 
passed his word that no foul play should be shown him, 
but that each party should be left to their own unassisted 
strengths, and to this he made Antinocts and the rest of 
the suitors swear. 

But when Ulysses had laid aside his garments, and 
was bare to the waist, all the beholders admired at the 
goodly sight of his large shoulders being of such exquisite 
shape and whiteness, and at his great and brawny bosom, 
and the youthfdl strength which seemed to remain in a 
man thought so old ; and they said, '* What limbs and 
what sinews he has !" and coward fear seized on the 
mind of that great vast beggar, and he dropped his 
threats and big words, and would have fled, but lord 
Antinous stayed him, and threatened him that if he 
declined the combat, he would put him a ship, and land 
him on the shores where king Echetus reigned, the 
roughest tyrant which at that time the world contained, 
and who had that antipathy to rascal beggars, such as he, 
that when any landed on his coast, he would crop their 
ears and noses and give them to the dogs to tear. So 
Irus, in whom fear of king Echetus prevailed above the 
fear of Ulysses, addressed himself to fight. But Ulysses, 
provoked to be engaged in so odious a strife with a fellow 
of his base conditions, and loathing longer to be made a 
spectacle to entertain the eyes of. his foes, with oae blow 
which he struck him beneath the ear, so shattered the 
teeth and jawbone of this soon baffled coward, that he 
laid him sprawling in the dust, with smaU stomach or 
ability to renew the contest. Then raising him on his 
feet, he led him bleeding and sputtering to the door, and 
put his staff into his hand, and bid him go use his com- 
mand upon dogs and swine, but not presume himself to 
be lord of the guests another time, nor of the beggary 1 

The suitors applauded in their vain minds the issue of 
the contest, and rioted in mirth at the expense of poor 
Irus, who they vowed should be forthwith embarked and 
sent to king Echetus; and they bestowed thanks on 


Ulysses for ridding the court of that unsavoury morsel, 
as they called him ; but in their inward souls they would 
not have cared if Irus had been victor, and Ulysses had 
taken the foil, but it was mirth to them to see the 
beggars fight. In such pastimes and light entertainments 
the day wore away. 

When evening was come the suitors betook themselves 
to music and dancing. And Ulysses leaned his back 
against a pillar from which certain lamps hung which 
gave light to the dancers, and he made show of watching 
the dancers, but very different thoughts were in his head. 
And as he stood near the lamps, the light fell upon his 
head, which was thin of hair and bald, as an old man's. 
And Eurymachus, a suitor, taking occasion from some 
words which were spoken before, scoffed and said, " Now 
I know for a certainty that some god lurks under the poor 
and beggarly appearance of this man, for as he stands by 
the lamps, his sleek head throws beams around it, like as 
it were a glory." And another said, " He passes his time 
too not much unlike the gods, lazily living exempt from 
labour, taking offerings of men." "I warrant," said 
Eurymachus again, " he could not raise a fence or dig a 
ditch for his livelihood, if a man would hire him to work 
in a gardea" 

"I wish," said Ulysses, "that you who speak this 
and myself were to be tried at any task-work, that I had 
a good crooked scythe put in my hand, that was sharp 
and strong, and you such another, where the grass grew 
longest, to be up by daybreak, mowing the meadows till 
the sun went down, not tasting of food till we had 
finished, or that we were set to plough four acres in one 
day of good glebe land, to see whose furrows were evenest 
and cleanest, or that we might have one wrestling -bout 
together, or that in our right hands a good steel-headed 
lance were placed, to try whose blows fell heaviest and 
thickest upon the adversary's headpieca I would cause 
you such work, as you should have small reason to 
reproach me with being slack at work. But you would 


do well to spare me this reproach, and to save your 
strength, till the owner of this house shall return, till the 
day when Ulysses shall return, when returning he shall 
enter upon his birthright." 

This was a galling speech to those suitors, to whom 
Ulysses' return was indeed the thing which they most 
dreaded ; and a sudden fear fell upon their souls, as if 
they were sensible of the real presence of that man who 
did indeed stand amongst them, but not in that form 
as they might know him; and Eur3nnachus, incensed, 
snatched a massy cup which stood on a table near, and 
hurled it at the head of the supposed beggar, and but 
narrowly missed the hitting of him ; and all the suitors 
rose, as at once, to thrust him out of the hall, which 
they said his beggarly presence and his rude speeches 
had profaned. But Telemachus cried to them to forbear, 
and not to presume to lay hands upon a wretched man to 
whom he had promised protection. He asked if they 
were mad, to mix such abhorred uproar with his feasts. 
He bade them take their food and their wine, to sit up 
or go to bed at their free pleasures, so long as he should 
give licence to that freedom ; but why should they abuse 
his banquet, or let the words which a poor beggar spake 
have power to move their spleens so fiercely? 

They bit their lips and frowned for anger, to be checked 
so by a youth ; nevertheless for that time they had the 
grace to abstain, either for shame, or that Minerva had 
infused into them a terror of Ulysses' son. 

So that day's feast was concluded without bloodshed, 
and the suitors, tired with their sports, departed severally 
each man to his apartment. Only Ulysses and Telemachus 
remained. And now Telemachus, by his father's direction, 
went and brought down into the hall armour and lances 
from the armoury : for Ulysses said, " On the morrow we 
shall have need of them." And moreover he said, " If 
any one shall ask why you have taken them down, say, 
it is to clean them and scour them from the rust which 
they have gathered since the owner of this house went 


for Troy." And as Telemachus stood by the armour, 
the lights were all gone out, and it was pitch-dark, and 
the armour gave out glistening beams as of fire, and he 
said to his father, " The pillars of the house are on fire." 
And his father said, '' It is the gods who sit above the 
stars and have power to make the night as light as the 
day." And he took it for a good omen. And Telemachus 
feU to cleaning and sharpening of the lances. 

Now Ulysses had not seen his wife Penelope in all the 
time since his return; for the queen did not care to 
mingle with the suitors at their banquets, but, as became 
one that had been Ulysses' wife, kept much in private, 
spinning and doing her exceUent housewiferies among 
her maids in the remote apartments of the palace. Only 
upon solemn days she would come down and show herself 
to the suitors. And Ulysses was filled with a longing 
desire to see his wife again, whom for twenty years he 
had not beheld, and he softly stole through the known 
passages of his beautiful house, till he came where the 
maids were lighting the queen through a stately gallery 
that led to the chamber where she slept. And when the 
maids saw Ulysses, they said, "It ia the beggar who 
came to the court to-day, about whom all that uproar was 
stirred up in the hall : what does he here ?" But Pene- 
lope gave commandment that he should be brought before 
her, for she said, " It may be that he has travelled, and 
has heard something concerning Ulysses." 

Then was Ulysses right glad to hear himself named 
by his queen, to find himself in nowise forgotten, nor her 
great love towards him decayed in all that time that he 
had been away. And he stood before his queen, and she 
knew him not to be Ulysses, but supposed that he had 
been some poor traveller. And she asked him of what 
country he was. 

He told her (as he had before told to Eumseus) that 
he was a Cretan bom, and however poor and cast down 
he now seemed, no less a man than brother to Idomeneus, 
who was grandson to king Minos, and though he now 


wanted bread, he had once had it in his power to fe^t 
Ulysses. Then he feigned how Ulysses, sailing for Troy, 
was forced by stress of weather to put his fleet in at a 
port of Crete, where for twelve days he waa his guest, 
and entertained by him >vith all befitting guest-rites. 
And he described the very garments which Ulysses had 
on, by which Penelope knew that he had seen her lord. 

In this manner Ulysses told his wife many tales of 
himself, at most but painting, but painting so near to the 
life, that the feeling of that which she took at her ears 
became so strong, that the kindly tears ran down her fair 
cheeks, while she thought upon her lord, dead she thought 
him, and heavily mourned the loss of him, whom she 
missed, whom she could not find, though in very deed he 
stood so near her. 

Ulysses was moved to see her weep, but he kept his 
own eyes as dry as iron or horn in their lids, putting a 
bridle upon his strong passion, that it should not issue to 

Then he told her how he had lately been at the court 
of Thesprotia, and what he had learned concerning Ulysses 
there, in order as he had delivered to Eumaeus : and 
Penelope was won to believe that there might be a possi- 
bility of Ulysses being alive, and she said, " I dreamed a 
dream this morning. Methought I had twenty household 
fowl which did eat wheat steeped in water from my hand, 
and there came suddenly firom the clouds a crook-beaked 
hawk who soused on them and killed them all, trussing 
their necks, then took his flight back up to the clouds. 
And in my dream methought that I wept and made great 
moan for my fowls, and for the' destruction which the 
hawk had made; and my maids came about me to 
comfort me. And in the height of my griefs the hawk 
came back, and lighting upon the beam of my chamber, 
he said to me in a man's voice, which sounded strangely 
even in my dream, to hear a hawk to speak : * Be of good 
cheer,' he said, *0 daughter of Icarius; for this is no 
dream which thou hast seen, but that which shall happen 


to thee indeed. Those household fowl which thou 
lamentest so without reason, are the suitors who devour 
thy substance, even as thou sawest the fowl eat from thy 
hand, and the hawk \b thy husband, who is coming to 
give death to the suitors.' And I awoke, and went to 
see to my fowls if they were alive, whom I found eating 
wheat from their troughs, all well and safe as before my 

Then said Ulysses, " This dream can endure no other 
interpretation than that which the hawk gave to it, who 
is your lord, and who is coming quickly to effect all that 
his words told you." 

" Your words," she said, " my old guest, are so sweet, 
that would you sit and please me with your speech, my 
ears would never let my eyes close their spheres for very 
joy of your discourse; but none that is merely mortal 
can live without the death of sleep, so the gods who are 
without death themselves have ordained it, to keep the 
memory of our mortality in our minds, while we experi- 
ence that as much as we Uve we die every day : in which 
consideration I wiU ascend my bed, which I have nightly 
watered with my tears since he that was the joy of it 
departed for that bad city ;" she so speaking, because she 
could not bring her lips to name the name of Troy so 
much hated. So for that night they parted, Penelope to 
her bed, and Ulysses to his son, and to the armour and 
the lances in the hall, where they sat up all night clean- 
ing and watching by the armour. 

Chapter X, 

The madness from above — The bow of Ulysses — The slaughter — 

The conclusion. 

When daylight appeared, a tumultuous concourse of 
suitors again filled the hall; and some wondered, and 
some inquired what meant that glittering store of armour 


and lances which lay on heaps by the entry of the door ; 
and to all that asked Telemachus made reply, that he 
had caused them to be taken down to cleanse them of the 
rust and of the stain which they had contracted by lying 
so long unused, even ever since his father went for Troy ; 
and with that answer their minds were easily satisfied. 
So to their feasting and vain rioting again they fell. 
Ulysses by Telemachus' order had a seat and a mess 
assigned to him in the doorway, and he had his eye ever 
on the lances. And it moved gall in some of the great 
ones there present, to have their feast still dulled with 
the society of that wretched beggar as they deemed him, 
and they reviled and spumed at him with their feet. 
Only there was one Philaetius, who had something a 
better nature than the rest, that spake kindly to him, 
and had his age in respect. He coming up to Ulysses, 
took him by the hand with a kind of fear, as if touched 
exceedingly with imagination of his great worth, and said 
thus to him, " Hail ! father stranger ! my brows have 
sweat to see the injuries which you have received, and 
my eyes have broke forth in tears, when I have only 
thought that such being oftentimes the lot of worthiest 
men, to this plight Ulysses may be reduced, and that he 
now may wander from place to place as you do ; for such 
who are compelled by need to range here and there, and 
have no firm home to fix their feet upon, God keeps them 
in this earth, as under water ; so are they kept down and 
depressed. And a dark thread is sometimes spun in the 
fates of kings." 

At this bare likening of the beggar to Ulysses, Minerva 
from heaven made the suitors for foolish joy to go mad, 
and roused them to such a laughter as would never stop, 
they laughed without power of ceasing, their eyes stood 
full of tears for violent joys; but fears and horrible 
misgivings succeeded : and one among them stood up 
and prophesied: "Ah, wretches!" he said, "what mad- 
ness &om heaven has seized you, that you can laugh 1 see 
you not that your meat drops blood 1 a night, like the 


night of death, wraps you about, you shriek without 
knowing it ; your eyes thrust forth tears ; the fixed walls, 
and the beam that bears the whole house up, fall blood ; 
ghosts choke up the entry ; full is the hall with appari- 
tions of murdered men ; under your feet is hell ; the sun 
falls from heaven, and it is midnight at noon." But like 
men whom the gods had infatuated to their destruction, 
they mocked at his fears, and Eurymachus said, "This 
man is surely mad, conduct him forth into the market- 
place, set him in the light, for he dreams that 'tis night 
within the house." 

But Theoclymenus (for that was the prophet's name), 
whom Minerva had graced with a prophetic spirit, that 
he foreseeing might avoid the destruction which awaited 
them, answered and said : " Eurymachus, I will not 
require a guide of thee, for I have eyes and ears, the use of 
both my feet, and a sane mind within me, and with these 
I will go forth of the doors, because I know the imminent 
evils which await all you that stay, by reason of this poor 
guest who is a favourite with all the gods." So saying 
he turned his back upon those inhospitable men, and 
went away home, and never returned to the palace. 

These words which he spoke were not imheard by 
Telemachus, who kept still his eye upon his father, ex- 
pecting fervently when he would give the sign, which 
was to precede the slaughter of the suitors. 

They dreaming of no such thing, fell sweetly to their 
dinner, as joying in the great store of banquet which was 
heaped in full tables about them ; but there reigned not 
a bitterer banquet planet in all heaven, than that which 
hung over them this day by secret destination of Minerva. 

Th«ie was a bow which Ulysses leffc when he went 
for Troy. It had lain by since that time, out of use and 
unstrung, for no man had strength to draw that bow, 
save Ulysses. So it had remained as a monument of 
the great strength of its master. This bow, with the 
quiver of arrows belonging thereto, Telemachus had 
brought down from the armoury on the last night along 


with the lances; and now Minerva, intending to do 
Ulysses an honour, put it into the mind of Telemachus 
to propose to the suitors to try who was strongest to draw 
that bow ; and he promised that to the man who should 
be able to draw that bow, his mother should be given in 
marriage; Ulysses' wife, the prize to him who should 
bend the bow of Ulysses. 

There was great strife and emulation stirred up among 
the suitors at those words of the prince Telemachus. And 
to grace her son's words, and to confirm the promise 
which he had made, Penelope came and showed herself 
that day to the suitors ; and Minerva made her that she 
appeared never so comely in their sight as that day, and 
they were inflamed with the beholding of so much beauty, 
proposed as the price of so great manhood; and they 
cried out, that if all those heroes who sailed to Colchos 
for the rich purchase of the golden-fleeced ram, had seen 
earth's richer prize, Penelope, they would not have made 
their voyage, but would have vowed their valours and 
their lives to her, for she was at all parts faultless. 

And she said, " The gods have taken my beauty from 
me, since my lord went for Troy." But Telemachus 
willed his mother to depart and not be present at that 
contest, for he said, "It may be, some rougher strife 
shall chance of this, than may be expedient for a woman 
to witness." And she retired, she and her maids, and 
left the hall. 

Then the bow was brought into the midst, and a mark 
was set up by prince Telemachus : and lord Antinous as 
the chief among the suitors had the first offer, and he 
took the bow and fitting an arrow to the string, he strove 
to bend it, but not with all his might and main could he 
once draw together the ends of that tough bow; and 
when he found how vain a thing it was to endeavour to 
draw Ulysses' bow, he desisted, blushing for shame and 
for mere anger. Then Eurymachus adventured, but with 
no better success; but as it had torn the hands of 
Antinous, so did the bow tear and strain his hands, and 


marred his delicate fingers, yet could lie not once stir the 
string. Then called he to the attendants to bring fat and 
unctuous matter, which melting at the fire, he dipped the 
bow therein, thinking to supple it and make it more pliable, 
but not with all the helps of art could he succeed in making 
it to move. After him Liodes, and Amphinomus, and 
Polybus, and Eurynomus, and Polyctorides, assayed their 
strength, but not any one of them, or of the rest of those 
aspiring suitors, had any better luck : yet not the meanest 
of them there but thought himself well worthy of Ulysses' 
wife, though to shoot with Ulysses' bow the completest 
champion among them was by proof found too feeble. 

Then Ulysses prayed them that he might have leave 
to try ; and immediately a clamour was raised among the 
suitors, because of his petition, and they scorned and 
swelled with rage at his presimiption, and that a beggar 
should seek to contend in a game of such noble mastery. 
But Telemachus ordered that the bow should be given 
him, and that he should have leave to try, since they had 
failed ; " for," he said, " the bow is mine, to give or to 
withhold : " and none durst gainsay the prince. 

Then Ulysses gave a sign to his son, and he com- 
manded the doors of the hall to be made fast, and all 
wondered at his words, but none could divine the cause. 
And Ulysses took the bow into his hands, and before he 
essayed to bend- it, he surveyed it at all parts to see 
whether, by long lying by, it had contracted any stifl5iess 
which hindered the drawing ; and as he waa busied in 
the curious surveying of his bow, some of the suitors 
mocked him and said, '^ Past doubt this man is a right 
cunning archer, and knows his craft well. See how he 
turns it over and over, and looks into it as if he could 
see through the wood." And others said, "We wish 
some one would tell out gold into our laps but for so long 
a time as he shall be in drawing of that string." But 
when he had spent some little time in making proof of 
the bow, and had found it to be in good plight, like as a 
harper in tuning of his harp draws out a string, with 


such ease or much more did Ulysses draw to the head the 
string of his own tough bow, and in letting of it go, it 
twanged with such a shrill noise as a swallow makes 
when it sings through the air ; which so much amazed 
the suitors, that their colours came and went, and the 
skies gave out a noise of thunder, which at heart cheered 
Ulysses, for he knew that now his long labours by the 
disposal of the fates drew to an end. Then fitted he an 
arrow to the bow, and drawing it to the head, he sent it 
right to the mark which the prince had set up. Which 
done, he said to Telemachus, " You have got no disgrace 
yet by your guest, for I have struck the mark I shot at, 
and gave myself no such trouble in teasing the bow with 
fat and fire, as these men did, but have made proof that 
my strength is not impaired, nor my age so weak and 
contemptible as these were pleased to think it. But 
come, the day going down calls us to supper, after which 
succeed poem and harp, and all delights which use to 
crown princely banquetings." 

So saying, he beckoned to his son, who straight girt 
his sword to his side, and took one of the lances (of 
which there lay great store from the armoury) in his 
hand, and armed at all points, advanced towards his 

The upper rags which Ulysses wore fell from his 
shoulder, and his own kingly likeness returned, when he 
rushed to the great hall door with bow and quiver full 
of shafts, which down at his feet he poured, and in bitter 
words presignified his deadly intent to the suitors. 
"Thus far," he said, "this contest has been decided 
harmless : now for us there rests another mark, harder 
to hit, but which my hands shall essay notwithstanding, 
if Phoebus, god of archers, be pleased to give me mastery." 
With that he let fly a deadly arrow at Antinous, which 
pierced him in the throat as he was in the act of lifting 
a cup of wine to his mouth. Amazement seized the 
suitors, as their great champion fell dead, and they raged 
highly against Ulysses, and said that it should prove the 



dearest shaft which he ever let fly, for he had slain a man, 
whose like breathed not in any part of the kingdom : and 
they flew to their arms, and would have seized the lances, 
but Minerva struck them with dimness of sight that they 
went erring up and down the hall, not knowing where to 
find them. Yet so infatuated were they by tiie dis- 
pleasure of heaven, that they did not see the imminent 
peril which impended over them, but every man believed 
that this accident had happened beside the intention of 
the doer. Fools ! to thiii by shutting their eyes to 
evade destiny, or that any other cup remained for them, 
but that which their great Antinous had tasted ! 

Then Ulysses revealed himself to aU in that presence, 
and that he was the man whom they held to be dead at 
Troy, whose palace they had usurped, whose wife in bis 
lifetime they had sought in impious marriage, and that 
for this reason destruction was come upon them. And 
he dealt his deadly arrows among them, and there was no 
avoiding him, nor escaping from his horrid person, and 
Telemachus by his side plied them thick with those 
murderous lances from which there was no retreat, till 
fear itself made them valiant, and danger gave them eyes 
to imderstand the peril; then they which had swords 
drew them, and some with shields, that could find them, 
and some with tables and benches snatched up in haste, 
rose in a mass to overwhelm and crush those two ; yet 
they singly bestirred themselves like men, and defended 
themselves against that great host, and through tables, 
shields and all, right through the arrows of Ulysses clove, 
and the irresistible lances of Telemachus ; and many lay 
dead, and all had wounds, and Minerva in the likeness of 
a bird sate upon the beam which went across the hall, 
clapping her wings with a fearful noise, and sometimes 
the great bird would fly among them, cuffing at the 
swords and at the lances, and up and down the hall 
would go, beating her wings, and troubling everything, 
that it was frightful to behold, and it frayed the blood 
from the cheeks of those heaven-hated suitors: but to 


Ulysses and his son she appeared in her own divine 
similitude, with her snake-fringed shield, a goddess armed, 
fighting their battles. Nor did that dreadful pair desist 
till they had laid all their foes at their feet. At their 
feet they lay in shoals ; like fishes, when the fishermen 
break up their nets, so they lay gasping and sprawHng at 
the feet of Ulysses and his son. And Ulysses remem- 
bered the prediction of Tiresias, which said that he was 
to perish by his own guests, unless he slew those who 
knew him not. 

Then certain of the queen's household went up and 
told Penelope what had happened, and how her lord 
Ulysses had come home, and had slain the suitors. But 
she gave no heed to their words, but thought that some 
frenzy possessed them, or that they mocked her : for it is 
the property of such extremes of sorrow as she had felt, 
not to believe when any great joy cometh. And she 
rated and chid them exceedingly for troubling her. But 
they the more persisted in their asseverations of the 
truth of what they had affirmed ; and some of them had 
seen the slaughtered bodies of the suitors dragged forth 
of the hall. And they said, " That poor guest whom you 
talked with last night was Ulysses.*' Then she was yet 
more fully persuaded that they mocked her, and she wept. 
But they said, " This thing is true which we have told. 
We sat within, in an inner room in the palace, and the 
doors of the hall were shut on us, but we heard the cries 
and the groans of the men that were killed, but saw 
nothing, till at length your son called to us to come in, 
and entering we saw Ulysses standing in the midst of the 
slaughtered." But she persisting in her unbelief, said, 
that it was some god which had deceived them to think 
it was the person of Ulysses. 

By this time Telemachus and his father had cleansed 
their hands from the slaughter, and were come to where 
the queen was talking with those of her household ; and 
when she saw Ulysses, she stood motionless, and had no 
power to speak, sudden surprise and joy and fear and 



many passions so strove within her. Sometimes she was 
clear that it was her husband that she saw, and sometimes 
the alterations which twenty years had made in his person 
(yet that was not much) perplexed her that she knew not 
what to think, and for joy she could not believe; and 
yet for joy she would not but believe; and, above all, 
that sudden change from a beggar to a king troubled her, 
and wrought uneasy scruples in her mind. But Tele- 
machus seeing her strangeness, blamed her, and called 
her an imgentle and tyrannous mother ! and said that she 
showed a too great curiousness of modesty, to abstain 
from embracing his father, and to have doubts of his 
person, when to all present it was evident that he was 
the very real and true Ulysses. 

Then she mistrusted no longer, but ran and fell upon 
Ulysses' neck, and said, " Let not my husband be angry, 
that I held off so long with strange delays; it is the 
gods, who severing us for so long time, have caused this 
imseemly distance in me. If Menelaus' wife had used 
half my caution, she would never have taken so freely to 
a stranger's bed ; and she might have spared us all these 
plagues which have come upon us through her shameless 

These words with which Penelope excused herself, 
wrought more affection in Ulysses than if upon a first 
sight she bad given up herself implicitly to his embraces ; 
and he wept for joy to possess a wife so discreet, so 
answering to his own staid mind, that had a depth of wit 
proportioned to his own, and one that held chaste virtue 
at so high a price, and he thought the possession of such 
a one cheaply purchased with the loss of all Circe's 
delights, and Calypso's immortality of joys; and his long 
labours and his severe sufferings past seemed as nothing, 
now they were crowned with the enjoyment of his vir- 
tuous and true wife Penelope. And as sad men at sea 
whose ship has gone to pieces nigh shore, swimming for 
their lives, all drenched in foam and brine, crawl up to 
some poor patch of land, which they take possession of 


with as great a joy aa if they had the world given them 
in fee, with such delight did this chaste wife cling to her 
lord restored, till the dark night fast coming on reminded 
her of that more intimate and happy union when in her 
long-widowed bed she should once again clasp a living 

So from that time the land had rest from the suitors. 
And the happy Ithacans with songs and solenm sacrifices 
of praise to the gods celebrated the return of Ulysses : 
for he that had been so long absent was returned to 
wreak the evil upon the heads of the doers ; in the place 
where they had done the evil, there wreaked he his 
vengeance upon them. 


A VERY ingenious and subtle writer, whom there is good 
reason for suspecting to be an ex-Jesuit, not unknown at 
Douay some five -and -twenty years since (he will not 

obtrude himself at M th again in a hurry), about a 

twelvemonth back set himself to prove the character of 
the Powder Plot Conspirators to have been that of heroic 
self-devotedness and true Christian martyrdom. Under 
the mask of Protestant candour, he actually gained ad- 
mission for his treatise into a London weekly paper not 
particularly distinguished for its zeal towards either 
religion. But, admitting Catholic principles, his argu- 
ments are shrewd and incontrovertible. He says : — 

" Guy Faux was a fanatic ; but he was no hypocrite. 
He ranks among good haters. He was cruel, bloody- 
minded, reckless of all considerations but those of an 
infuriated and bigoted faith ; but he was a true son of 
the Catholic Church, a martyr, and a confessor, for all 
that. He who can prevail upon himself to devote his 
life to a cause, however we may condemn his opinions or 
abhor his actions, vouches at least for the honesty of his 
principles and the disinterestedness of his motives. He 
may be guilty of the worst practices j but he is capable 
of the greatest. He is no longer a slave, but free. The 
contempt of death is the beginning of virtue. The hero 
of the Gunpowder Plot was, if you will, a fool, a mad- 
man, an assassin ; call him what names you please : still 
he was neither knave nor coward. He did not propose 

GUY FAUX. 181 

to blow up the Parliament, and come off scot-free himself; 
he showed that he valued his own life no more than 
theirs in such a cause, where the integrity of the Catholic 
faith and the salvation of perhaps millions of souls was 
at stake. He did not call it a murder, but a sacrifice, 
which he was about to achieve ; he waa armed with the 
Holy Spirit and with fire ; he was the Church's chosen 
servant, and her blessed martyr. He comforted himself 
as 'the best of cut-throats.' How many wretches are 
there who would have undertaken to do what he intended 
for a sum of money, if they could have got off with im- 
punity ! How few are there who would have put them- 
selves in Guy Fauz's situation to save the universe ! Yet, 
in the latter case, we affect to be thrown into greater 
consternation than at the most unredeemed acts of villainy; 
as if the absolute disinterestedness of the motive doubled 
the horror of the deed ! The cowardice and selfishness 
of mankind are in fact shocked at the consequences to 
themselves (if such examples are held up for imitation) ; 
and they make a fearful outcry against the violation of 
every principle of morality, lest they, too, should be called 
on for any such tremendous sacrifices ; lest they in their 
turn, should have to go on the forlorn hope of extra-official 
duty. Chirity begins at home, is a maxim that prevails 
as well in the courts of consciousness as in those of 
prudence. We would be thought to shudder at the con- 
sequences of crime to others, while we tremble for them 
to ourselves. We talk of the dark and cowardly assassin ; 
and this is well, when an individual shrinks from the face 
of an enemy, and purchases his own safety by striking a 
blow in the dark ; but how the charge of cowardly can 
be applied to the public assassin, who, in the very act of 
destroying another, lays down his life as the pledge and 
forfeit of his sincerity and boldness, I am at a loss to 
devise. There may be barbarous prejudice, rooted hatred, 
imprindpled treachery in such an act; but he who 
resolves to take all the danger and odium upon himself 
can no more be branded with cowardice than Regulus 


devoting himself for his country, or Codnw leaping into 
the fiery gulf. A wily Father Inquisitor, coolly and with 
plenary authority condemning hundreds of helpless, un- 
oflfending victims to the flames, or the horrors of a living 
tomb, while he himself would not suffer a hair of his 
head to be hurt, is, to me, a character without any 
qualifying trait in it. Again: The Spanish conqueror 
and hero, the favourite of his monarch, who enticed 
thirty thousand poor Mexicans into a large open building 
under promise of strict Mth and cordial good-will, and 
then set fire to it, making sport of the cries and agonies 
of these deluded creatures, is an instance of imiting the 
most hardened cruelty with the most heartless selfishness. 
His plea was, keeping no faith with heretics ; this was 
Guy Faux's too : but I am sure at least that the latter 
kept faith with himself; he was in earnest in his profes- 
sions. His was not gay, wanton, imfeeling depravity ; 
he did not murder in sport : it was serious work that he 
had taken in hand. To see this arch-bigot, this heart- 
whole traitor, this pale miner in the infernal regions, 
skulking in his retreat with his cloak and dark lantern, 
moving cautiously about among his barrels of gunpowder 
loaded with death, but not yet ripe for destruction, regard- 
less of the lives of others, and more than indifferent to 
his own, presents a picture of the strange infatuation of 
the human understanding, but not of the depravity of 
the human will, without an equal. There were thousands 
of pious Papists privy to and ready to applaud the deed 
when done; there was no one but our old fifth -of- 
November friend, who still flutters in rags and straw on 
the occasion, that had the courage to attempt it. In him 
stem duty and unshaken faith prevailed over natural 

It is impossible, upon Catholic principles, not to admit 
the force of this reasoning : we can only not help smiling 
(with the writer) at the simplicity of the gulled editor, 
swallowing the dregs of Loyola for the very quiutessenoe 
of sublimated reason in England at the commencement of 

GUY FAUX. 183 

the nineteenth century. We will just, as a contrast, 
show what w« Protestants (who are a party concerned) 
thought upon the same subject at a period rather nearer 
to the heroic project in question. 

The Gunpowder Treason was the subject which called 
forth the earliest specimen which is left us of the pulpit 
eloquence of Jeremy Taylor. When he preached the 
sermon on that anniversary, which is printed at the end 
of the folio edition of his Sermons, he was a young man, 
just commencing his ministry under the auspices of 
Archbishop Laud. From the learning and maturest 
oratory which it manifests, one should rather have con- 
jectured it to have proceeded from the same person after 
he was ripened by time into a Bishop and Father of the 
Church. "And, really, these JRomano-barhari could 
never pretend to any precedent for an act so barbarous 
as theirs. Adramelech, indeed, killed a king; but he 
spared the people. Haman would have killed the people, 
but spared the king; but that both king and people, 
princes and judges, branch and rush and root, should die 
at once (as if Caligula's wish were actuated, and all 
England upon one head), was never known tUl now, that 
all the malice of the world met in this as in a centre. 
The Sicilian even-song, the matins of St. Bartholomew, 
known for the pitiless and damned massacres, were but 
KOTTvov (TKias ova/9, the dream of the shadow of smoke, 
if compared with this great fire. In tarn occupato sceculo 
fahdas wlgares nequitia non invenit. This was a busy 
age. ' Herostratus must have invented a more sublimed 
malice than the burning of one temple, or not have been 
so much as spoke of since the discovery of the powder 
treason. But I must make more haste ; I shall not else 
climb the sublimity of this impiety. Nero was some- 
times the popvlare odium, was popularly hated, and 
deserved it too: for he slew his master, and his wife, 
and all his family, once or twice over; opened his 
mothers womb ; fired the city, laughed at it, slandered 
the Christians for it : but yet all these were hut principia 

184 GUY FAUX. 

malorum, the very first rudiments of eviL Add, then, 
to these, Herod's masterpiece at Ramah, as it was 
deciphered by the tears and sad threnes of the matrons in 
a universal mourning for the loss of their pretty infants ; 
yet this of Herod will prove but an infant wickedness, 
and that of Nero the evil but of one city. I would 
willingly have found out an example, but see I cannot 
Should I put into the scale the extract of the old tyrants 
famous in antique stories : — 

' Bistonii stabnlnm regis, Busiridis aras, 
Antipliatse mensas, et Taurica regna Tlioantis ; ' — 

should I take for true story the highest cruelty as it was 
fancied by the most hieroglyphical Egyptian, — ^this alone 
would weigh them down, as if the Alps were put in scale 
against the dust of a balanca For, had this accursed 
treason prospered, we should have had the whole kingdom 
mourn for the inestimable loss of its chiefest glory, its 
life, its present joy, and all its very hopes for the future. 
For such was their destined malice, that they would not 
only have inflicted so cruel a blow, but have made it 
incurable, by cutting off our supplies of joy, the whole 
succession of the Line Royal. Not only the vine itself, 
but all the gemmvlce, and the tender olive branches, 
should either have been bent to their intentions, and 
made to grow crooked, or else been broken. 

"And now, after such a sublimity of malice, I will 
not instance in the sacrilegious ruin of the neighbouring 
temples, which needs must have perished in the flame ; 
nor in the disturbing the ashes of our entombed kings, 
devouring their dead ruins like sepulchral dogs : these are 
but minutes in respect of the ruin prepared for the living 
temples : — 

' Stragem sed istam non tulit 
Christus cadentum Principum 
Impnne, ne forsan sni 
Patris periret fabrica. 
Ergo quae poterit lingua retexere 
Laudes, Christe, tuas, qui domitum struis 
Infidum populum cum Duce perfido !'" 

GUY FAUX. 185 

In such strains of eloquent indignation did Jeremy 
Taylor's young oratory inveigh against that stupendous 
attempt which he truly says had no parallel in ancient or 
modem times. A century and a half of European crimes 
has elapsed since he made the assertion, and his position 
remains in its strength. He wrote near the time in 
which the nefarious project had like to have been com- 
pleted. Men's minds still were shuddering from the 
recentness of the escape. It must have been within his 
memory, or have been sounded in his ears so young by 
his parents, that he would seem, in his maturer years, to 
have remembered it. No wonder, then, that he describes 
it in words that burn. But to us, to whom the tradition 
has come slowly down, and has had time to cool, the 
story of Guido Yaux sounds rather like a tale, a fable, 
and an invention, than true history. It supposes such 
gigantic audacity of daring, combined with such more 
than infantile stupidity in the motive, — such a combina- 
tion of the fiend and the monkey, that credulity is almost 
swallowed up in contemplating the singularity of the 
attempt. It has accordingly, in some degree, shared the 
fate of fiction. It is familiarised to us in a Mnd of serio- 
ludicrous way, like the story of Gny of Warwick or 
Valentine and Orson, The way which we take to per- 
petuate the memory of this deliverance is well adapted to 
keep up this fabular notion. Boys go about the streets 
annually with a beggarly scarecrow dressed up, which is 
to be burnt indeed, at night, with holy zeal ; but, mean- 
time, they beg a penny for poor Guy: this periodical 
petition, which we have heard from our infancy, combined 
with the dress and appearance of the effigy, so well calcu- 
lated to move compassion, has the effect of quite removing 
from our fancy the horrid circumstances of the story which 
is thus commemorated ; and in poor Guy vainly should we 
try to recognise any of the features of that tremendous 
madman in iniquity, Guido Vaux, with his horrid crew 
of accomplices, that sought to emulate earthquakes and 
bursting volcanoes in their more than mortal mischief. 

186 GUY FAUX. 

Indeed, the whole ceremony of burning Guy Faux, or ! 

the Pope^ as he is indifferently called, is a sort of Treason 
TravesHe, and admirably adapted to lower our feelings 
upon this memorable subject. The printers of the little 
duodecimo Prayer Book, printed by T. Baskett,"^ in 
1749, which has the effigy of his sacred migesty George 
II. piously prefixed, have illustrated the service (a very 
fine one in itself) which is appointed for the anniversary 
of this day with a print which it is not very easy to 
describe ; but the contents appear to be these : The scene 
is a room, I conjecture in the king's palace. Two persons 
— one of whom I take to be James himself firom his 
wearing his hat, while the other stands bareheaded — ^are 
intently surveying a sort of speculum, or magic mirror, 
which stands upon a pedestal in the midst of the room, 
in which a little figure of Guy Faux with his dark lantern, 
approaching the door of the Parliament House, is made j 

discernible by the light proceeding fix)m a great eye which 
shines in from the topmost comer of the apartment ; by 
which eye the pious artist no doubt meant to designate 
Providence. On the other side of the mirror is a figure 
doing something, which puzzled me when a child, and 
continues to puzzle me now. The best I can make of it 
is, that it is a conspirator busy laying the train; but 
then, why is he represented in the king's chamber? 
Conjecture upon so fantastical a design is vain ; and I 
only notice the print as being one of the earliest graphic 
representations which woke my childhood into wonder, 
and doubtless combined, with the mummery before 
mentioned, to take off the edge of that horror which the 
naked historical mention of Guido's conspiracy could not 
have failed of exciting. 

^ The same, I presume, upon whom the clergyman in the song 
of the '^ Vicar and Moses," not without judgment, passes this 
memorable censure : 

** Here, Moses the king : 
*Tis a scandalous thing 
That this Baskett should print for the Crown. " 

GUY FAUX. 187 

!N'ow that so many years are past since that abominable 
machination was happily frustrated, it will not, I hope, 
be considered a profane sporting with the subject if we 
take no very serious survey of the consequences that would 
have flowed from this plot if it had had a successful issue. 
The first thing that strikes us, in a selfish point of view, 
is the material change which it must have produced in 
the course of the nobility. All the ancient peerage being 
extinguished, as it was intended, at one blow, the Bed 
Book must have been closed for ever, or a new»race of 
peers must have been created to supply the deficiency. 
As the first part of this dilemma is a deal too shocking 
to think of, what a fund of mouth-watering reflections 
does this give rise to in the breast of us plebeians of a.d. 
1823 1 Why, you or I, reader, might have been Duke 

of , or Earl of . I particularise no titles, to 

avoid the least suspicion of intention to usurp the dignities 
of the two noblemen whom I have in my eye; but a 
feeling more dignified than envy sometimes excites a 
sigh, when I think how the posterity of Guide's Legion 
of Honour (among whom you or I might have been) might 
have rolled down " dulcified," as Burke expresses it, ** by 
an exposure to the influence of heaven in a long flow of 
generations, from the hard, acidulous, metallic tincture 
of the spring."^ What new orders of merit, think you, 
this English Napoleon would have chosen ) «. Knights of 
the Barrel, or Lords of the Tub, Grand Almoners of the 
Cellar, or Ministers of Explosion 1 We should have given 
the train couchanty and the fire rampant, in our arms ; 
we should have quartered the dozen white matches in 
our coats : the Shallows would have been nothing to us. 

Turning away from these mortifying reflections, let us 
contemplate its effects upon the other hxyu9e; for they 
were all to have gone together, — ^king, lords, commons. 

To assist our imagination, let us take leave to suppose 
(and we do it in the harmless wantonness of fancy) that 
the tremendous explosion had taken place in our days. 

^ Letter to a Noble Lord. 


We better know what a House of Commons is in our 
days, and can better estimate our loss. Let us imagine, 
then, to ourselves, the united members sitting in full 
conclave above; Faux just ready with his train and 
matches below, — in his hand a " reed tipt with fire." He 
applies the fatal engine . 

To assist our notions still further, let us suppose some 
lucky dog of a reporter, who had escaped by miracle upon 
some plank of St. Stephen's benches, and came plump 
upon the roof of the adjacent Abbey, from whence 
descending, at some neighbouring coffee-house, first wiping 
his clothes and calling for a glass of lemonade,, he sits 
down and reports what he had heard and seen {quorum 
para magna fuit\ for the Morning Post or the Courier. 
We can scarcely imagine him describing the event in any 
other words but some such as these : — 

'^ A Motion was put and carried, that this House do 
adocmm ; that the Speaker do quit the chair. The House 
ROSE amid clamours for Order." 

In some such way the event might most technically 
have been conveyed to the public. But a poetical mind, 
not content with this dry method of narration, cannot 
help pursuing the effects of this tremendous blowing up, 
this adjournment in the air, sine die. It sees the 
benches mount, — the Chair first, and then the benches ; 
and first the. Treasury Bench, hurried up in this nitrous 
explosion, — the Members, as it were, pairing off; Whigs 
and Tories taking their friendly apotheosis together (as 
they did their sandwiches below in Bellamy's room). 
Fancy, in her flight, keeps pace with the aspiring legis- 
lators : she sees the awful seat of order mounting, till 
it becomes finally fixed, a constellation, next to Cassi- 
opeia's chair, — the wig of him that sat in it taking 
its place near Berenice's curls. St. Peter, at heaven's 
wicket, — ^no, not St. Peter, — ^St. Stephen, with open 
arms, receives his own . 

While Fancy beholds these Celestial appropriations, 
Reason, no less pleased, discerns the mighty benefit which 

GUY FAUX. 189 

SO complete a renovation must produce below. Let the 
most determined foe to corruption, the most thorough- 
paced redresser of abuses, try to conceive a more absolute 
purification of the House than this was calculated to 
produce. Why, Pride's Purge was nothing to it. The 
whole borough-mongering system would have been got 
rid of, fairly exploded; with it the senseless distinctions 
of party must have disappeared, faction must have 
vanished, corruption have expired in the air. From 
Hundred, Tything, and Wapentake, some new Alfred 
would have convened, in all its purity, the primitive 
Witenagemote, — ^fixed upon a basis of property or popu- 
lation permanent as the poles . 

From this dream of universal restitution, Beason and 
Fancy with difficulty awake to view the real state of 
things. But, blessed be Heaven ! St. Stephen's walls 
are standing, all her seats firmly secured ; nay, some have 
doubted (since the Septennial Act) whether gunpowder 
itself, or anything short of a committee above stairs^ would 
be able to shake any one member from his seat ; — that 
great and final improvement to the Abbey, which is all 
that seems wanting, — the removing Westminster HaU 
and its appendages, and letting in the view of the 
Thames, — must not be expected in our days. Dismissing, 
therefore, all such speculations as mere tales of a tub, it 
is the duty of every honest Englishman to endeavour, 
by means less wholesale than Guide's, to ameliorate, 
without extinguishing parliaments ; to hold the lantem 
to the dark places of corruption ; to apply the match to 
the rotten parts of the system only ; and to wrap himself 
up, not in the muffling mantle of conspiracy, but in the 
warm honest cIoolIc of integrity and patriotic intention. 




How oddly it happens that the same sound shall suggest 
to the minds of two persons hearing it ideas the most 
opposite ! I was conversing, a few years since, with a 
young Mend upon the subject of poetry, and particularly 
that species of it which is known by the name of the 
Epithsdamium. I ventured to assert that the most perfect 
specimen of it in our language was the Epithalamium of 
Spenser upon his own marriage. 

My yoimg gentleman, who has a smattering of taste, 
and would not willingly be thought ignorant of anything 
remotely connected with the bdles-leUrea, expressed a 
degree of surprise, mixed with mortification, that he 
should never have heard of this poem ; Spenser being an 
author with whose writings he thought himself peculiarly 

I offered to show him the poem in the fine folio c(ypj 
of the poet's works which I have at home. He seemed 
pleased with the offer, though the mention of the folio 
seemed again to puzzle him. But, presently after, 
assuming a grave look, he compassionately muttered to 
himself, " Poor Spencer !" 

There was something in the tone with which he spoke 
these words that struck me not a little. It was more 
like the accent with which a man bemoans some recent 
calamity that has happened to a friend than that tone 
of sober grief with which we lament the sorrows of a 


person, however excellent and however grievous his 
afflictions may have been, who has been dead more than 
two centuries. I had the curiosity to inquire into the 
reasons of so uncommon an ejaculation. My young gentle- 
man, with a more solemn tone of pathos than before, 
repeated, "Poor Spencer !" and added, "He has lost his 

My astonishment at this assertion rose to such a 
height, that I began to think the brain of my young 
friend must be cracked, or some unaccountable reverie 
had gotten possession of it. But, upon further explana- 
tion, it appeared that the word "Spenser" — ^which to 
you or me, reader, in a conversation upon poetry too, 
would naturally havie called up the idea of an old poet in 
a ruff, one Edmimd Spenser, that flourished in the days 
of Queen Elizabeth, and wrote a poem called " The Faery 
Queene," with "The Shepherd's Calendar," and many 
more verses besides — did, in the mind of my young friend, 
excite a very different and quite modern idea ; namely, 
that of the Honourable William Spencer, one of the living 
ornaments, if I am not misinformed, of this present 
poetical era^ aj>. IS 11. 




Mr. Reflector — I am one of those persons whom the 
world has thought proper to designate by the title of 
Damned Authcrs. In that memorable season of dramatic 
failures, 1806-7, — in which no fewer, I think, than two 
tragedies, four comedies, one opera, and three farces 
suffered at Drury Lane Theatre, — I was found guilty of 
constructing an afterpiece, and was damned. 

Against the decision of the public in such instances 
there can be no appeal. The Clerk of Chatham might as 
well have protested against the decision of Cade and his 
followers who were then the public. Like him, I was 
condemned because I could write. 

Not but it did appear to some of us that the measmres 
of the popular tribimal at that period savoured a little of 
harshness and of the mmmumjus. The public mouth 
was early in the season fleshed upon the "Vindictive 
Man," and some pieces of that nature ; and it retained, 
through the remainder of it, a relish of blood. As Dr. 
Johnson would have said, "Sir, there was a habit of 
sibilation in the house." 

Still less am I disposed to inquire into the reason of 
the comparative lenity, on the other hand, with which 
some pieces were treated, which, to indifferent judges, 


seemed at least as much deserving of condemnation as 
some of those which met with it. I am willing to put 
a favourable construction upon the votes that were given 
against us; I believe that there was no bribery or 
designed partiality in the case : only " our nonsense did 
not happen to suit their nonsense ;" that was all. 

But against the manner in which the public, on these 
occasions, think fit to deliver their disapprobation, I must 
and ever will protest. 

Sir, imagine — but you have been present at the 
damning of a piece — ^those who never had that felicity, I 
beg them to imagine — a vast theatre, like that which 
Drury Lane was before it was a heap of dust and ashes 
(I insult not over its fallen greatness ; let it recover itself 
when it can for me, let it lift up its towering head once 
more, and take in poor authors to write for it ; hie ccestus 
arteimque repono), — a theatre like that, filled with all 
sorts of disgusting sounds, — shrieks, groans, hisses, but 
chiefly the last, like the noise of many waters, or that 
which Don Quixote heard from the fulling-mills, or that 
wilder combination of devilish sounds which St. Anthony 
listened to in the wilderness. 

Oh ! ,Mr. Reflector, is it not a pity that the sweet 
human voice, which was given man to speak with, to sing 
with, to whisper tones of love in, to express compliance, 
to convey a favour, or to grant a suit, — that voice, which 
in a Siddons or a Braham rouses us, in a Siren Catalani 
charms and captivates us, — that the musical, expressive 
human voice should be converted into a rival of the 
noises of silly geese, and irrational, venomous snakes 1 

I never shall forget the sounds on my nigJU, I never 
before that time fully felt the reception which the Author 
of All 111, in the " Paradise Lost," meets with from the 
critics in the pit^ at the final close of his Tragedy upon 
the Human Race, — though that, alas ! met with too 
much success : — 

** From innnmerable tongues 
A dismal universal Am, the sound 


Of pnblic scorn. Dreadful was the din 
Of hissing through the hall, thick swamiing now 
With complicated monsters, head and tail, 
Scorpion and asp, and Amphisbsena dire, 
Cerastes hom'd. Hydras, and Elops drear. 
And Dipsas." 

For hall substitute theatre, and you have the very 
image of what takes place at what is called the damnation 
of a piece, — and properly so called ; for here you see its 
origin plainly, whence the custom was derived, and what 
the first piece was that so suffered. After this, none can 
doubt the propriety of the appellation. 

But, sir, as to the justice of bestowing such appalling, 
heart -withering denunciations of the popular obloquy 
upon the venial mistake of a poor author, who thought 
to please us in the act of filling his pockets, — for the sum 
of his demerits amounts to no more than that, — ^it does, 
I own, seem to me a species of retributive justice far too 
severe for the ofience. A culprit in the pillory (bate the 
eggs) meets with no severer exprobration. 

Indeed, I have often wondered that some modest 
critic has not proposed that there should be a wooden 
machine to that eflfect erected in some convenient part of 
the proscenium, which an unsuccessful author should be 
required to mount, and stand his hour, exposed to the 
apples and oranges of the pit. This amende honorable 
would well suit with the meanness of some authors, who, 
in their prologues fairly prostrate their skulls to the 
audience, and seem to invite a pelting. 

Or why should they not have their pens publicly 
broke over their heads, as the swords of recreant knights 
in old times were, and an oath administered to them that 
they should never write again ? 

Seriously, Messieurs the PiMic, this outrageous way 
which you have got of expressing your displeasures is too 
much for the occasion. When I was deafening under the 
effects of it, I could not help asking what crime of great 
moral tiuTpitude I had committed : for every man about 
me seemed to feel the offence as personal to himself : as 


something which public interest and priyate feelings 
alike called upon him in the strongest possible manner, 
to stigmatise with infamy. 

The Romans, it is well-known to you, Mr. Reflector, 
took a gentler method of marking their disapprobation of 
an author's work. They were a humane and equitable 
nation. They left the furca and the jKdihulum^ the axe 
and the rods, to great offenders : for these minor and (if 
I may so term them) extra-moral offences, the herd thumh 
was considered as a sufl&dent sign of disapprobation, — 
vertere pollicem ; as the pressed thumh, premere poUicem, 
was a mark of approving. 

And really there seems to have been a sort of fitness 
in this method, a correspondency of sign in the punish- 
ment to the offence. For, as the action of turiting is 
performed by bending the thumb forward, the retroversion 
or bending back of that joint did not unaptly point to 
the opposite of that action; implying that it was the 
will of the audience that the author should lurite no 
more : a much more significant as well as more himiane 
way of expressing that desire than our custom of hissing, 
which is altogether senseless and indefensible. Nor do 
we find that the Roman audiences deprived themselves, 
by this lenity, of any tittle of that supremacy which 
audiences in all ages have thought themselves bound to 
maintain over such as have been candidates for their 
applause. On the contrary, by this method they seem to 
have had the author, as we should express it, completely 
under finger and thumh. 

The provocations to which a dramatic genius is exposed 
from the public are so much the more vexatious as they 
are removed from any possibility of retaliation, which 
sweetens most other iiyuries ; for the public never turites 
itself, Not but something very like it took place at the 
time of the O.P. differences. The placards which were 
nightly exhibited were, properly speaking, the composi- 
tion of the public. The public wrote them, the public 
applauded them; and precious morceaux of wit and 


eloquence they were, — except some few of a better 
quality, which it is well known were furnished by 
professed dramatic writers. After this specimen of what 
the public can do for itself, it should be a little slow in 
condemning what others do for it. 

As the degrees of malignancy vary in people according 
as they have more or less of the Old Serpent (the father 
of hisses) in their composition, I have sometimes amused 
myself with analysing this many-headed hydra, which 
calls itself the public, into the component parts of which 
it is *' complicated, head and tail," and seeing how many 
varieties of the snake kind it can afford. 

First, there is the Common English Snake. — This is 
that part of the auditory who are always the migority at 
damnations ; but who, having no critical venom in them- 
selves to sting them on, stay tiU they hear others hiss, 
and then join in for company. 

The Blind Worm is a species very nearly allied to the 
foregoing. Some naturalists have doubted whether they 
are not the same. 

The Rattlesnake. — These are your obstreperous talking 
critics, — the impertinent guides of the pit, — who will not 
give a plain man leave to enjoy an evening's entertain- 
ment ; but with their frothy jargon and incessant finding 
of faults, either drown his pleasure quite, or force him, in 
his own defence, to join in their clamorous censura The 
hiss always originates with these. When this creature 
springs his rattle, you would think, from the noise it 
makes, there was something in it ; but you have only to 
examine the instrument from which the noise proceeds, 
and you will find it typical of a critic's tongue, — ^a shallow 
membrane, empty, voluble, and seated in the most con- 
temptible part of the creature's body. 

The Whipsnake. — This is he that lashes the poor 
author the next day in the newspapers. 

The Deaf Adder, or Surda Echidna of Linnaeus. — 
Under this head may be classed all that portion of the 
spectators (for audience they properly are not), who, not 


finding the first act of a piece answer to their precon- 
ceived notions of what a first act should be, like Obstinate 
in John Bunyan, positively thrust their fingers in their 
ears, that they may not hear a word of what is coming, 
though perhaps the very next act may be composed in a 
style as difierent as possible, and be written quite to their 
own tastes. These adders refuse to hear the voice of the 
charmer, because the tuning of his instrument gave them 

I should weary you and myself too, if I were to go 
through all the classes of the serpent kind. Two qualities 
are common to them all. They are creatures of remark- 
ably cold digestions, and chiefly haunt pits and low 

I proceed with more pleasure to give you an account 
of a club to which I have the honour to belong. There 
are fourteen of us, who are all authors that have been 
once in our lives what is called damned. We meet on 
the anniversary of our respective nights, and make our- 
selves merry at the expense of the public. The chief 
tenets which distinguish our society, and which every 
man among us is bound to hold for gospel, are — 

That the public, or mob, in all ages have been a set of 
blind, deaf, obstinate, senseless, illiterate savages. That 
no man of genius, in his senses, would be ambitious of 
pleasing such a capricious, ungrateful rabble. That the 
only legitimate end of writing for them is to pick their 
pockets ; and, that failing, we are at full liberty to vilify 
and abuse them as much as ever we think fit. 

That authors, by their affected pretences to humility, 
which they made use of as a cloak to insinuate their 
writings into the callous senses of the multitude, obtuse 
to everything but the grossest flattery, have by degrees 
made that great beast their master; aa we may act 
submission to children till we are obliged to practise it 
in earnest. That authors are and ought to be considered 
the masters and preceptors of the public, and not vice 


versd. That it was so in the days of Orpheus, Linus, 
and Musseus ; and would be so again, if it were not that 
writers prove traitors to themselves. That, in particular, 
in the days of the first of those three great authors just 
mentioned, audiences appear to have been perfect models 
of what audiences should be ; for though, along with the 
trees and the rocks and the wild creatures which he drew 
after him to listen to his strains, some serpents doubtless 
came to hear his music, it does not appear that any one 
among them ever lifted up a dissentient voice. They 
knew what was due to authors in those days. Now 
every stock and stone turns into a serpent, and has a 

That the terms "Courteous Reader" and "Candid 
Auditors," as having given rise to a false notion in those 
to whom they were applied, as if they conferred upon 
them some right, which they cannot have, of exercising 
their judgments, ought to be utterly banished and ex- 

These are our distinguishing tenets. To keep up 
the memory of the cause in which we suffered, as the 
ancients sacrificed a goat, a supposed unhealthy animal, 
to ^sculapius, on our feast-nights we cut up a goose, an 
animal typical of the pojndar voice, to the deities of 
Candour and Patient Hearing. A zealous member of 
the society once proposed that we should revive the 
obsolete luxury of viper-broth ; but the stomachs of some 
of the company rising at the proposition, we lost the 
benefit of that highly salutary and antidotal dish. 

The privilege of admission to our club is strictly 
limited to such as have been fairly damned, A piece 
that has met with ever so little applause, that has but 
languished its night or two, and then gone out, will 
never entitle its author to a seat among us. An excep- 
tion to our usual readiness in conferring this privilege is 
in the case of a writer, who, having been once condemned, 
writes again, and becomes candidate for a second martyr- 
domu Simple damnation we hold to be a merit ; but to 


be twice-damned we adjudge infamous. Such a one we 
utterly reject, and blackball without a hearing : — 

' ' The common damned shun his society." 

Hoping that your publication of our Regulations may 
be a means of inviting some more members into our 
society, I conclude this long letter. 

I am, Sir, yours, 






The Good Clerk. — He writeth a fair and swift hand, and 
is competently versed in the four first rules of arithmetic, 
in the Rule of Three (which is sometimes called the 
Golden Rule), and in Practice. We mention these things 
that we may leave no room for cavillers to say that any- 
thing essential hath been omitted in our definition ; else, 
to speak the truth, these are but ordinary accomplish- 
ments, and such as every understrapper at a desk is 
commonly furnished with. The character we treat of 
soareth higher. 

He is clean and neat in his person ; not from a vain- 
glorious desire of setting himself forth to advantage in 
the eyes of the other sex (with which vanity too many of 
our young sparks nowadays are infected), but to do 
credit, as we say, to the office. For this reason, he ever- 
more taketh care that his desk or his books receive no 
soil; the which things he is commonly as solicitous to 
have fair and unblemished, as the owner of a fine horse is 
to have him appear in good keep. 

He riseth early in the morning; not because early 
rising conduceth to health (though he doth not altogether 
despise that consideration), but chiefly to the intent that 
he may be first at the desk. There is his post, — there 
he deUghteth to be, unless when his meals or necessity 


calleth him away ; which time he alway esteemet^ as loss, 
and maketh as short as possible. 

He is temperate in eating and drinking, that he may 
preserve a clear head and steady hand for his master's 
service. He is also partly induced to this observation to 
the rules of temperance by his respect for religion and the 
laws of his country ; which things, it may once for all be 
noted, do add special assistances to his actions, but do 
not and cannot furnish the mainspring or motive thereto. 
His first ambition, as appeareth all along, is to be a good 
Clerk ; his next, a good Christian, a good Patriot, etc. 

Correspondent to this, he keepeth himself honest, not 
for fear of the laws, but because he hath observed how 
unseemly an article it maketh in the Day-Book or Ledger 
when a sum is set down lost or missing; it being his 
pride to make these books to agree and to tally, the one 
side with the other, with a sort of architectural symmetry 
and correspondence. 

He marrieth, or marrieth not, as best suiteth with his 
employer's views. Some merchants do the rather desire 
to have married men in their Counting-houses, because 
they think the married state a pledge for their servants' 
integrity, and an incitement to them to be industrious ; 
and it was an observation of a late Lord Mayor of London, 
that the sons of clerks do generally prove clerks them- 
selves, and that merchants encouraging persons in their 
employ to marry, and to have families, was the best 
method of securing a breed of sober, industrious young 
men attached to the mercantile interest. Be this as it 
may, such a character as we have been describing will 
wait till the pleasure of his employer is known on this 
point ; and regulateth his desires by the custom of the 
house or firm to which he belongeth. 

He avoideth profane oaths and jesting, as so much 
time lost from his employ; what spare time he hath 
for conversation, which, in a counting-house such as we 
have been supposing, can be but small, he spendeth in 
putting seasonable questions to such of his fellows (and 


sometimes respectfully to the master himself) who can 
give him information respecting the price and quality of 
goods, the state of exchange, or the latest improvements 
in book-keeping ; thos making the motion of his lips, as 
well as of his fingers, subservient to his master's interest. 
Not that he refuseth a brisk saying, or a cheerful sally of 
wit, when it comes unforced, is free of offence, and hath 
a convenient brevity. For this reason, he hath commonly 
some such phrase as this in his mouth : — 

It*8 a slovenly look 
To blot your book. 


Red ink for ornament, black for nse : 
The best of things are open to abuse. 

So upon the eve of any great holy-day, of which he 
keepeth one or two at least every year, he will merrily 
say, in the hearing of a confidential Mend, but to none 
other, — 

All work and no play 
Makes Jack a dull boy. 


A bow always bent must crack at last. 

But then this must always be understood to be spoken 
confidentially, and, as we say, under the rose. 

Lastly, his dress is plain, without singularity; with 
no other ornament than the quill, which is the badge of 
his function, stuck behind the dexter ear, and this rather 
for convenience of having it at hand, when he hath been 
called away from his desk, and expecteth to resume his 
seat there again shortly, than from any delight which he 
taketh in foppery or ostentation. The colour of his 
clothes is generally noted to be black rather than brown, 
brown rather than blue or green. His whole deportment 
is staid, modest, and civil. His motto is Regularity . 

This Character was sketched in an interval of business, 
to divert some of the melancholy hours of a Counting- 
house. It is so little a creature of fancy, that it is scarce 



anything more than a recollection of some of those frugal 
and economical maxims which, about the beginning of the 
last century (England's meanest period), were endeavoured 
to be inculcated and instilled into the breasts of the 
London Apprentices^ by a class of instructors who might 
not inaptly be termed The Masters of Mean Morals. 
The astonishing narrowness and illiber^ty of the lessons 
contained in some of those books is inconceivable by those 
whose studies have not led them that way, and would 
almost induce one to subscribe to the hard censure which 
Drayton has passed upon the mercantile spirit : — 

The gripple merchant, bom to be the curse 
Of this brave isle. 

I have now lying before me that curious book by Daniel 
Defoe, The Complete English Tradesman, The pom- 
pous detail, the studied analysis of every little mean art, 
every sneaking address, every trick and subterfuge short 
of larceny that is necessary to the tradesman's occupation, 
with the hundreds of anecdotes, dialogues (in Defoe's 
liveliest manner) interspersed, all tending to the same 
amiable purpose,— namely, the sacrificing of every honest 
emotion of the soul to what he calls the main chance, — ^if 
you read it in an ironical sense, and as a piece of covered 
satire, make it one of the most amusing books which 
Defoe ever writ, as much so as any of his best novels. 
It is difficult to say what his intention was in writing it. 
It is almost impossible to suppose him in earnest. Yet 
such is the bent of the book to narrow and to degrade 
the heart, that if such maxims were as catching and in- 
fectious as those of a licentious cast, which happily is not 
the case, had I been living at that time, I certainly should 
have recommended to the Grand Jury of Middlesex, 
who presented The Fable of the Bees, to have presented 
this book of Defoe's in preference, as of a far more vile 

^ This term designated a larger class of young men than that 
to -which it ifl now confined. It took in the articled clerks of 
merchants and bankers, the George Bamwells of the day. 


and debasing tendency. I will give one specimen of his 
advice to the young tradesman on the Government of his 
Temper: "The retail tradesman in especial, and even 
every tradesman in his station, must furnish himself with 
a competent stock of patience. I mean that sort of 
patience which is needful to bear with all sorts of im- 
pertinence, and the most provoking curiosity that it is 
possible to imagine the buyers, even the worst of them, 
are, or can be, guilty of. A tradesman behind his counter 
must have no flesh and blood ahout him^ no passions, no 
resentjnent; he must never be angry, — no, not so much 
as seem to be so, if a customer tumbles him five hundred 
pounds' worth of goods, and scarce bids money for any- 
thing ; nay, though they really come to his shop with no 
intent to buy, as many do, only to see what is to be sold, 
and though he knows they cannot be better pleased than 
they are at some other shop where they intend to buy, 
'tis all one ; the tradesman must take it ; he must place 
it to the account of his calling, that 'tis his business to be 
ill used and resent n>othing ; and so must answer as 
obligingly to those that give him an hour or two's trouble 
and buy nothing, as he does to those who, in half the 
time, lay out ten or twenty pounds. The case is plain ; 
and if some do give him trouble, and do not buy, others 
make amends, and do buy; and as for the trouble, 'tis 
the business of the shop." 

Here follows a most admirable story of a mercer who, 
by his indefatigable meanness and more than Socratic 
patience under affironts, overcame and reconciled a lady, 
who, upon the report of another lady that he had behaved 
saucily to some third lady, had determined to shun his 
shop, but, by the over-persuasions of a fourth lady, was 
induced to go to it ; which she does, declaring beforehand 
that she will buy nothing, but give him all the trouble 
she can. Her attack and his defence, her insolence and 
his persevering patience, are described in colours worthy 
of a MandeviUe; but it is too long to recite. "The 
short inference from this long discourse," says he, "is 


this, — that here you see, and I could give you many 
examples like this, how and in what manner a shopkeeper 
is to behave himself in the way of his business; what 
impertinences, what taunts, flouts, and ridiculous things 
he must bear in his trade, and must not show the least 
return, or the least signal of disgust : he must have no 
passions, no fire in his temper ; he must be all sofb and 
smooth ; nay, if his real temper be naturally fiery and 
hot, he must show none of it in his shop ; he must be a 
perfect complete hypocritey if he will be a complete trades- 
man} " It is true, natural tempers are not to be always 
counterfeited : the man ciumot easily be a lamb in his 
shop and a lion in himself; but, let it be easy or hard, 
it must be done, and is done. There are men who have 
by custom and usage brought themselves to it, that 
nothing could be meeker and milder than they when 
behind the counter, and yet nothing be more furious and 
raging in every other part of life : nay, the provocations 
they have met with in their shops have so irritated their 
rage, that they would go upstairs from their shop, and 
fall into frenzies, and a kind of madness, and beat their 
heads against the wall, and perhaps mischief themselves, 
if not prevented, till the violence of it had gotten vent, 
and the passions abate and cool. I heard once of a shop- 
keeper that behaved himself thus to such an extreme, 
that when he was provoked by the impertinence of the 
customers beyond what his temper could bear, he would 
go upstairs and beat his wife, kick his children about like 
dogs, and be as furious for two or three minutes as a man 
chained down in Bedlam ; and again, when that heat was 
over, would sit down and cry faster than the children he 
had abused; and, after the fit, he would go down into 
the shop again, and be as humble, courteous, and as calm 
as any man whatever; so absolute a government of his 
passions had he in the shop, and so little out of it : in 
the shop, a soulless animal that would resent nothing; 

-^ As no qualification accompanies this maxim, it must be 
understood as the genuine sentiment of the author 1 


and in the family, a madman : in the shop, meek like a 
lamb ; but in the family outrageous, like a Libyan lion. 
The sum of the matter is, it is necessary for a tradesman 
to subject himself, by all the ways possible, to his busi- 
ness ; his customers are to he his idols ; so far as he may 
worship idolsy by allowance^ he is to how down to them, 
and worship them ; at least he is not in any way to dis- 
please them, or show any disgust or distaste whatsoever 
they may say or do. The bottom of all is that he is 
intending to get money by them ; and it is not for him 
that gets money to offer the least inconvenience to them 
by whom he gets it : he is to consider that, as Solomon 
says, "the borrower is servant to the lender; so the 
seller is servant to the buyer." What he says on the 
head of " Pleasures and Eecreations " is not less amusing : 
" The tradesman's pleasure should be in his business : his 
companions should be in his books " (he means his Ledger, 
Waste-book, etc), " and if he has a family he makes his j 

excursions upstairs and no further. None of my cautions * 

aim at restraining a tradesman from diverting himself, as 
we call it, with his fireside, or keeping company with his 
wife and children." Liberal allowance ! nay, almost \ 

licentious and criminal indulgence! Buf it is time to 
dismiss this Philosopher of Meanness, More of this stuff 
would illiberalise the pages of the Reflector, Was the 
man in earnest, when he could bring such powers of 
description, and all the charms of natural eloquence, in 
commendation of the meanest, vilest, wretchedest degra- 
dations of the human character? or did he not rather 
laugh in his sleeve at the doctrines which he inculcated ; 
and, retorting upon the grave citizens of London their 
own arts, palm upon them a sample of disguised satire 
under the name of wholesome Instruction 1 


The Reynolds Gallery has, upon the whole, disappointed 
me. Some of the portraits are interesting. They are 
faces of characters whom we (middle-aged gentlemen) 
were 'bom a little too late to remember, but about whom 
we have heard our fathers tell stories till we almost fancy 
to have seen them. There is, a charm in the portrait of 
a Rodney or a Keppel, which even a picture of Nelson 
must want for me. I should turn away after a slight 
inspection from the best likeness that could be made of 
Mrs. Anne Clarke; but Kitty Fisher is a considerable 
personage. Then the dresses of some of the women so 
exactly remind us of modes which we can just recall ; of 
the forms under which the venerable relationship of aunt 
or mother first presented themselves to our young eyes ; the 
aprons, the coifs, the lappets, the hoods. Mercy on us ! 
what a load of head ornaments seem to have conspired to 
bury a pretty face in the picture of Mrs. Long, yet could 
not / Beauty must have some " charmed life " to have 
been able to surmount the conspiracy of fashion in those 
days to destroy it. 

The portraits which least pleased me were those of boys 
as infant Bacchuses, Jupiters, etc. But the artist is not 
to be blamed for the disguise. No doubt the parents 
wished to see their children deified in their lifetime. It 
was but putting a thunderbolt (instead of a squib) into 
young master's hands ; and a whey-faced chit was trans- 
formed into the infant ruler of Olympus, — him who was 


afterward to shake heaven and earth with his black brow. 
Another good boy pleased his grandmamma so well, and 
the blameless dotage of the good old woman imagined in 
him an adequate representative of the awfiil Prophet 
Samuel. Bvi the great historical compositions, where the 
artist was at liberty to paint from his own idea, — the 
Beaufort and the Ugolino: why then, I must confess, 
pleading the liberty of table-talk for my presimiption, 
that they have not left any very elevating impression on 
my mind. Pardon a ludicrous comparison. I know, 
madam, you admire them both ; but placed opposite to 
each other as they are at the gallery, as if to set the one 
work in competition with the other, they did remind me 
of the famous contention for the prize of deformity, 
mentioned in the 173d Number of the Spectator.'*^ The 
one stares, and the other grins; but is there common 
dignity in their countenances'? Does anything of the 
history of their life gone by peep through the ruins of the 
mind in the face, like the unconquerable grandeur that 
surmounts the distortions of the Laocooni The figures 
which stand by the bed of Beaufort are indeed happy 
representations of the plain unmannered old nobility of 
the English historical plays of Shakspere; but, for anything 
else j — Give me leave to recommend those macaroons. 

After leaving the Eeynolds Gallery (where, upon the 
whole, I received a good deal of pleasure), and feelhig that 
I had quite had my fill of paintings, I stumbled upon a 
picture in Piccadilly (No. 22, I think), which purports to 
be a portrait of Francis the First, by Leonardo da Vinci. 
Heavens, what a difference ! It is but a portrait, as most 
of those I had been seeing ; but, placed by them, it would 
kill them, swallow them up as Moses' rod the other rods. 
Where did these old painters get their models ? I see no 
such figures, not in my dreams, as this Francis, in the char- 
acter, or rather with the attributes, of John the Baptist. 
A more than martial majesty in the brow and upon the 
eyelid ; an arm, muscular, beautifully formed ; the long, 
graceful, massy fingers compressing, yet so as not to hurt. 


a lamb more lovely, more sweetly shrinking, than we can 
conceive that milk-white one which followed Una; the 
picture altogether looking as if it were eternal, — combining 
the truth of flesh with a promise of permanence like 

Leonardo, from the one or two specimens we have of 
him in England, must have been a stupendous genius. 
I can scarce think he has had his fiill fame — ^he who could 
paint that wonderful personification of the Logos, or second 
person of the Trinity, grasping a globe, late in the 
possession of Mr. Troward of Pall Mall, where the hand 
was, by the boldest licence, twice as big as the truth of 
drawing warranted ; yet the effect, to every one that saw 
it, by some magic of genius was confessed to be not 
Tnonstroibs^ but miraculous and silencing. It could not 
be gainsaid. 



The Quarterly Bemew, October, 1814. 

The volume before us, as we leam from the Preface, is 
'^a detached portion of an unfinished poem, containing 
views of man, nature, and society;" to be called the 
Recluse, as having for its principal subject the "sensa- 
tions and opinions of a poet living in retirement;" and 
to be preceded by a " record in verse of the origin and 
progress of the author's own powers, with reference to 
the fitness which they may be supposed to have conferred 
for the task." To the completion of this plan we look 
forward with a confidence which the execution of the 
finished part is well calculated to inspire. — Meanwhile, 
in what is before us there is ample matter for enter- 
tainment : for the " Excursion " is not a branch (as might 
have been suspected) prematurely plucked from the parent 
tree to gratify an overhasty appetite for applause ; but is, 
in itself, a complete and legitimate production. 

It opens with the meeting of the poet with an aged 
man whom he had known from his schooldays ; in plain 
words, a Scottish pedlar; a man who, though of low 
origin, had received good learning and impressions of the 
strictest piety from his stepfather, a minister and village 
schoolmaster. Among the hills of Athol, the child is 
described to have become familiar with the appearances 
of nature in his occupation as a feeder of sheep; and 
from her silent influences to have derived a character, 
meditative, tender, and poetical. With an imagination 
and feelings thus nourished — his intellect not unaided by 


books, but those, few, and chiefly of a religious cast — the 
necessity of seeking a maintenance in riper years had 
induced him to make choice of a profession, the appellor 
tion for which has been gradually declining into contempt, 
but which formerly designated a class of men, who, 
journeying in country places, when roads presented less 
facilities for travelling, and the intercourse between towns 
and villages was unfrequent and hazardous, became a sort 
of link of neighbourhood to distant habitations ; resem- 
bling, in some small measure, in the effects of their 
periodical returns, the caravan which Thomson so feel- 
ingly describes as blessing the cheerless Siberian in its 
annual visitation, with " news of human kind." 

In the solitude incident to this rambling life, power 
had been given him to keep alive that devotedness to 
nature which he had imbibed in his childhood, together 
with the opportunity of gaining such notices of persons 
and things from his intercourse with society, as qualified 
him to become a " teacher of moral wisdom." With this 
man, then, in a hale old age, released from the burthen 
of his occupation, yet retaining much of its active habits, 
the poet meets, and is by him introduced to a second 
character — a sceptic — one who had been partially roused 
from an overwhelming desolation, brought upon him by 
the loss of wife and children, by the powerful incitement 
of hope which the French Revolution in its commence- 
ment put forth, but who, disgusted with the failure of 
all its promises, had fallen back into a laxity of faith and 
conduct which induced at length a total despondence as 
to the dignity and final destination of his species. In 
the language of the poet, he 

. • . . broke faith with those whom he had laid 
In earth's dark chamhers. 

Yet he describes himself as subject to compunctious 
visitations from that silent quarter. 

. . . Feebly must they have felt, 

Who, in old time, attired with snakes and whips 


The vengeful Furies. Beautiful regards 
Were turned on me — the face of her I loved ; 
The wife and mother ; pitifully fixing 
Tender reproaches, insupportable 1 — p. 133. 

The conversations with this person, in which the 
Wanderer asserts the consolatory side of the question 
against the darker views of human life maintained by his 
friend, and finally calls to his assistance the experience of 
a village priest, the third, or rather fourth interlocutor, 
(for the poet himself is one), form the groundwork of the 
" Excursion." 

It will be seen by this sketch that the poem is of a 
didactic nature, and not a fable or story; yet it is not 
wanting in stories of the most interesting kind, — such 
as the lovers of Cowper and Goldsmith will recognise as 
something familiar and congenial to them. We might 
instance the " Ruined Cottage," and the Solitary's own 
story, in the first half of the work ; and the second half, 
as being almost a continued cluster of narration. But 
the prevailing charm of the poem is, perhaps, that, con- 
versational as it is in its plan, the dialogue throughout 
is carried on in the very heart of the most romantic 
scenery which the poet's native hills could supply ; and 
which, by the perpetual references made to it either in 
the way of illustration or for variety and pleasurable 
description's sake, is brought before us as we read. We 
breathe in the fresh air, aa we do whUe reading Walton's 
"Complete Angler ;" only the country about us is as much 
bolder than Walton's, as the thoughts and speculations, 
which form the matter of the poem, exceed the trifling 
pastime and low-pitched conversation of his humble 
fishermen. We give the description of the "two huge 
peaks," which from some other vale peered intd that in 
which the Solitary is entertaining the poet and com- 
panion. " Those," says their host, 

if here you dwelt, would be 

Your prized companions. Many are the notes 
Which in his tuneful course the wind draws forth 


From rocks, woods, caverns, heaths, and dashing shores ; 

And well those lofty brethren bear their part 

In the wild concert : chiefly when the storm 

Rides high ; then all the upper air they fill 

With roaring sound, that ceases not to flow. 

Like smoke, along the level of the blast 

In mighty current ; theirs, too, is the song 

Of stream and headlong flood that seldom fails ; 

And in the grim and breathless hour of noon, 

Methinks that I have heard them echo back 

The thunder's greeting : nor have Nature's laws 

Left them ungifted with a power to yield 

Music of finer frame ; a harmony. 

So do I call it, though it be the hand 

Of silence, though there be no voice ; the clouds, 

The mist, the shadows, light of golden suns. 

Motions of moonlight, aU come thither — touch, 

And have an answer — ^thither come, and shape 

A language not unwelcome to sick hearts, 

And idle spirits : there the sun himself 

At the calm close of summer's longest day 

Rests his substantial orb ; — ^between those heights. 

And on the top of either pinnacle, 

More keenly than elsewhere in night's blue vault, 

Sparkle the stars as of their station proud. 

Thoughts are not busier in the mind of man. 

Than the mute agents stirring there : — alone 

Here do I sit and watch. — p. 84. 

To a mind constituted like that of Mr. Wordsworth, 
the stream, the torrent, and the stirring leaf — seem not 
merely to suggest associations of deity, but to be a kind 
of speaking communication with it. He walks through 
every forest, as through some Dodona ; and every bird 
that flits among the leaves, like that miraculous one^ in 
Tasso, but in language more intelligent, reveals to him 
far higher love -lays. In his poetry nothing in Nature is 


With party-coloured plumes, and purple bill, 

A wondrous bird among the rest there flew, 

That in plain speech sung love-lays loud and shrill ; 

Her leden was like human language true ; 

So much she talked, and with such wit and skill. 

That strange it seemed how much good she Knew. 

FavrfoM'a Traridation, 


dead. Motiou is synonymous with life. "Beside yon 
spring," says the Wanderer, speaking of a deserted well, 
from which, in former times, a poor woman, who died 
heart-broken, had been used to dispense refreshment to 
the thirsty traveller, 

beside yon spring I stood, 

And eyed its waters, till we seem'd to feel 
One sadness, they and I. For them a bond 
Of brotherhood is broken : time has been 
When every day the tonch of human hand 
Dislodged the natural sleep that binds them up 
In mortal stillness. — p. 27. 

To such a mind, we say — call it strength or weakness 
— if weakness, assuredly a fortunate one — ^the visible and 
audible things of creation present, not dim symbols, or 
curious emblems, which they have done at all times to 
those who have been gifted with the poetical faculty, 
but revelations and quick insights into the life within us, 
the pledge of immortality : — 

the whispering air 

Sends inspiration from her shadowy heights, 
And blind recesses of the cavem'd rocks : 
The little rills, and waters numberless, 
Inaudible by day-light. 

" I have seen," the poet says, and the illustration is a 
happy one — 

I have seen 

A curious child, applying to his ear 
The convolutions of a smooth-lipp'd shell 
To which, in silence hush*d, his very soul 
Listen'd intensely, and his countenance soon 
Brighten 'd with joy ; for murmurings from within 
Were heard — sonorous cadences 1 whereby, 
To his belief, the monitor express'd 
Mysterious union with its native sea. 
Even such a shell the universe itself 
Is to the ear of faith ; and doth impart 
Authentic tidings of invisible things : 
Of ebb and flow, and ever during power ; 
And central peace subsisting at the heart 
Of endless agitation. — p. 191. 


Sometimes this harmony is imaged to us by an echo ; 
and in one instance, it is with such transcendent beauty 
set forth by a shadow and its corresponding substance, 
that it would be a sin to cheat our readers at once of so 
happy an illustration of the poet's system, and so fair a 
proof of his descriptive powers. 

Thus having reached a hridge, that over-arch'd 

The hasty rivulet where it lay becalm'd 

In a deep pool, hy happy chance we saw 

A twofold image ; on a grassy bank 

A snow-white ram, and in the crystal flood 

Another and the same ! Most beautifal, 

On the green turf, with his imperial front. 

Shaggy and bold, and wreathed horns superb. 

The breathing creature stood ; as beautiful, 

Beneath him, show'd his shadowy counterpart. 

Each had his glowing mountains, each his sky, 

And each seem'd centre of his own fair world : 

Antipodes unconscious of each other. 

Yet, in partition, with their several spheres. 

Blended in perfect stillness, to our sight I — p. 407. 

Combinations, it is confessed, " like those reflected in 
that quiet pool," cannot be lasting : it is enough for the 
purpose of the poet, if they are felt. — They are at least 
his system ; and his readers, if they reject them for their 
creed, may receive them merely as poetry. In him, faithy 
in friendly alliance and conjunction with the religion of his 
country, appears to have grown up, fostered by medita- 
tion and lonely communions with Nature — an internal 
principle of lofty consciousness, which stamps upon his 
opinions and sentiments (we were almost going to say) 
the -character of an expanded and generous Quakerism. 

From such a creed we should expect unusual results ; 
and, when applied to the purposes of consolation, more 
touching considerations than from the mouth of common 
teachers. The finest speculation of this sort perhaps in 
the poem before us, is the notion of the thoughts which 
may sustain the spirit, while they crush the frame of the 
sufferer, who from loss of objects of love by death, is 
commonly supposed to pine away under a broken heart. 



. . . If there be, whose tender frames have drooped 

Even to the dust, apparently, through weight 

Of anguish unrelieved, and lack of power 

An agonising spirit to transmute. 

Infer not hence a hope from those withheld 

When wanted most ; a confidence impaired 

So pitiably, that, having ceased to see 

With bodily eyes, they are borne down by love 

Of what is lost, and perish through regret. 

Oh no I full oft the innocent sufferer sees 

Too clearly ; feds too vividly ; and longs 

To realise the vision with intense 

And over constant yearning; — ^there, there lies 

The excess, by which the balance is destroyed. 

Too, too contracted are these walls of flesh. 

This vital warmth too cold, these visual orbs, 

Though inconceivably endowed, too dim 

For any passion of the soul that leads 

To extasy ; and, all the crooked paths 

Of time and change disdaining, takes its course 

Along the line of limitless desires. — p. 148. 

With the same modifying and incorporating power, he 
tells us, — 

Within the soul a faculty abides 

That with interpositions, which would hide 

And darken, so can deal, that they become 

Contingencies of pomp ; and serve to exalt 

Her native brightness. As the ample moon, 

In the deep stillness of a summer eve, 

Rising behind a thick and lofty grove, 

Bums like an unconsuming fire of light 

In the green trees ; and, kindling on all sides 

Their leafy umbrage, turns the dusky veil 

Into a substance glorious as her own. 

Yea, with her own incorporate, by power 

Capacious and serene. Like power abides 

In man's celestial spirit ; Virtue thus 

Sets forth and magnifies herself ; thus feeds 

A calm, a beautiful, and silent fire. 

From the incumbrances of mortal life. 

From error, disappointment, nay, from guilt ; 

And sometimes, so relenting justice wills, 

From palpable oppressions of despair. — p. 188. 

This is high poetry; though (as we have ventured 

Wordsworth's "excursion." 217 

to lay the basis of the author's sentiments in a sort of 
liberal Quakerism) from some parts of it, others may, 
with more plausibility, object to the appearance of a kind 
of Natural Methodism : we could have wished therefore 
that the tale of Margaret had been postponed, till the 
reader had been strengthened by some previous acquaint- 
ance with the author's theory; and not placed in the 
front of the poem, with a kind of ominous aspect, beauti- 
fcQly tender as it is. It is a tale of a cottage, and its 
female tenant, gradually decaying together, while she 
expected the return of one whom poverty and not unkind- 
ness had driven from her arms. We trust, ourselves only 
with the conclusion — 

. . . . nine tedious years 

From their first separation, nine long years, 

She lingered in unquiet widowhood, 

A wife and widow. I have heard, my friend. 

That in yon arbour oftentimes she sate 

Alone, through half the vacant Sabbath day ; 

And, if a dog passed by, she stiU would quit 

The shade, and look abroad. On this old bench 

For hours she sate ; and evermore her eye 

Was busy in the distance, shaping things 

That made her heart beat quick. You see that path ; 

There to and fro she paced through many a day 

Of the warm summer, from a belt of hemp 

Tliat girt her waist, spinning the long-drawn thread 

With backward steps. Yet ever as there pass'd 

A man whose garments showed the soldier's ^ red, 

The little child who sate to turn the wheel 

Ceased from his task ; and she with faultering voice 

Made many a fond inquiry ; and when they. 

Whose presence gave no comfort, were gone by, 

Her heart was still more sad. And by yon gate, 

That bars the traveller's road, she often stood. 

And, when a stranger horseman came, the latch 

Would lift, and in his face look wistfully ; 

Most happy, if from aught discovered there 

Of tender feeling, she might dare repeat 

The same sad question. Meanwhile her poor hut 

Sank to decay : for he was gone, whose hand, 

^ Her husband had enlisted for a soldier. 


At the first nipping of October frost, 

Closed np each chink, and with fresh bands of straw 

Checqnered the green grown thatch. And so she lived 

Through the long winter, reckless and alone ; 

Until her house by frost, and thaw, and rain 

Was sapped ; and, while she slept, the nightly damps 

Did chill her breast ; and in the stormy day 

Her tattered clothes were ruffled by the wind, 

Even at the side of her own fire. Yet still 

She loved this wretched spot, nor would for worlds 

Have parted hence : and still that length of road. 

And this rude bench, one torturing hope endeared. 

Fast rooted at her heart : and here, my friend, 

In sickness she remained ; and here she died, 

Last humjiii tenant of these ruined walls ! — p. 46. 

The fourth book, entitled "Despondency Corrected," 
we consider as the most valuable portion of the poem. 
For moral grandeur; for wide scope of thought and a 
long train of lofty imagery ; for tender personal appeals ; 
and a versification which we feel we ought to notice, but 
feel it also so involved in the poetry, that we can hardly 
mention it as a distinct excellence; it stands without 
competition among our didactic and descriptive verse. 
The general tendency of the argument (which we might 
almost affim'fo'be the leading moral of the poem) is to 
abate the pride of the calculating understanding, and to 
reinstate the Imagination and the affections in those seats 
from which inodem philosophy has laboured., but too 
successfully to expel them. . 

"Life's autumn past," says the gray-haired Wanderer, 

. . , I stand on winter's verge, 

And daily lose what I desire to keep ; 

Yet rather would I instantly decline 

To the traditionary sympathies 

Of a most rustic Ignorance, and take 

A fearful apprehension from the owl 

Or death-watch — and as readily rejoice 

If two auspicious magpies crossed my way — 

This rather would I do than see and hear 

The repetitions wearisome of sense, 

Where soul is dead and feeling hath no place. — p. 168. 



In the same spirit, those illusions of the imaginative 
faculty to which the peasantry in solitary districts are 
peculiarly subject, are represented as the kindly ministers 
of conscience : 

. . . with whose service charged 
They come and go, appear and disappear ; 
Diverting evil purposes, remorse 
Awakening, chastening an intemperate grief, 
Or pride of heart abating. 

Reverting to more distant ages of the world, the 
operation of that same faculty in producing the several 
fictions of Chaldean, Persian, and Grecian idolatry, is 
described with such seductive power, that the Solitary, 
in good earnest, seems alarmed at the tendency of his own 
argument. Notwithstanding his fears, however, there is 
one thought so uncommonly fine, relative to the spiritu- 
ality which lay hid beneath the gross material forms of 
Greek worship, in metal or stone, that we cannot resist 
the allurement of transcribing it — 

. . . Triumphant o'er his pompous show 
Of art, this palpable array of sense, 
On every side encountered ; in despite 
Of the gross fictions chanted in the streets 
By wandering rhapsodists ; and in contempt 
Of doubt and bold denials hourly urged 
Amid the wrangling schools — a Spibit hung, 
Beautiful Region ! o'er thy towns and farms. 
Statues and temples, and memorial tombs ; 
And emanations were perceived ; and acts 
Of immortality, in Nature's course, 
Exemplified by mysteries, that were felt 
As bonds, on grave Philosopher imposed 
And armed Warrior ; and in every grove 
A gay or pensive tenderness prevailed, 
Wlien piety more awful had relaxed. 

** Take, running river , take these locks of mine " — 
Thus would the votary say — " this severed hair, 
My vow fulfiUing, do I here present. 
Thankful for my beloved child* s return. 
Thy hanks, Cephisus, he again hath trod, 
Thy murmurs heard, and drunk the crystal lymph 
With which thou dost r^resh the thirsty lip, 


And moisten all day long these Jlowery Jldds.** 

And doubtless, sometimes, when the hair was shed 

Upon the flowing stream, a thought arose 

Of Life continuous, Being unimpaired ; 

That hath been, is, and where it was and is 

There shall be ; seen, and heard, and felt, and known, 

And recognised — existence unexposed 

To the blind walk of mortal accident ; 

From diminution safe and weakening age ; 

While man grows old, and dwindles and decays; 

And countless generations of mankind 

Depart, and leave no vestige where they trod. — p. 174. 

In discourse like this the first day passes away. The 
second (for this almost dramatic poem takes up the 
action of two summer days) is varied by the introduction 
of the village priest ; to whom the Wanderer resigns the 
office of chief speaker, which had been yielded to his age 
and experience on the first. The conference is begun 
at the gate of the churchyard; and after some natural 
speculations concerning death and immortality — and the 
custom of funereal and sepulchral observances, as deduced 
from a feeling of immortality — certain doubts are pro- 
posed respecting the quantity of moral worth existing in 
the world, and in that mountainous district in particular. 
In the resolution of these doubts, the priest enters upon 
a most affecting and singular strain of narration, derived 
from the graves around him. Pointing to hillock after 
hillock, he gives short histories of their tenants, disclos- 
ing their humble virtues, and touching with tender hand 
upon their frailties. 

Nothing can be conceived finer than the manner of 
introducing these tales. With heaven above his head, 
and the mouldering turf at his feet— standing betwixt 
life and death — he seems to maintain that spiritual 
relation which he bore to his living flock in its imdimin- 
ished strength, even with their ashes ; and to be in his 
proper cure, or diocese, among the dead. 

We might extract powerful instances of pathos from 
these tales — the stoiy of Ellen in particular — but their 
force is in combination, and in the circumstances under 


which they are introduced. The traditionary anecdote 
of the Jacobite and Hanoverian, as less liable to suffer 
by transplanting, and as affording an instance of that 
finer species of humour, that thoughtful playfulness in 
which the author more nearly perhaps than in any other 
quality resembles Cowper, we shall lay (at least a part of 
it) before our readers. It is the story of a whig who, 
having wasted a large estate in election contests, retired 
"beneath a borrowed name" to a small town among 
these northern mountains, where a Caledonian laird, a 
follower of the house of Stuart, who had fled his country 
after the overthrow at Culloden, returning with the 
return of lenient times, had also fixed his residence. 

Here, then, they met, 

Two doughty champions j flaming Jacobite, 
And sullen Hanoverian ! you might think 
That losses and vexations, less severe 
Than those which they had severally sustained, 
Would have inclined each to abate his zeal 
For his ungrateful cause ; no, — I have heard 
My reverend father tell that, mid the calm 
Of that smaU town encountering thus, they filled 
Daily its bowling-green with harmless strife, 
Plagued with uncharitable thoughts the church, 
And vez'd the market-place ! But in the breasts 
Of these opponents gradually was wrought, 
With little change of general sentiment. 
Such change towards each other, that their days 
By choice were spent in constant fellowship ; 
And, if at times they fretted with the yoke. 
Those very bickerings made them love it more. 

A favourite boundary to their lengthened walks 
This churchyard was. And, whether they had come 
Treading their path in sympathy, and linked 
In social converse, or by some short space 
Discreetly parted to preserve the peace, 
One spirit seldom failed to extend its sway 
Over both minds, when they awhile had marked 
The visible quiet of this holy ground 
And breathed its soothing air 

There live who yet remember to have seen 
Their courtly figures — seated on a stump 
Of an old yew, their favourite resting place. 

222 Wordsworth's "excursion." 

But, as tlie remnant of the long-lived tree 

Was disappearing by a swift decay, 

They with joint care determined to erect, 

Upon its site, a dial, which should stand 

For public use ; and also might sunriye 

As their own private monument ; for this 

Was the particular spot, in which they wished 

(And heaven was pleased to accomplish their desire) 

That, undivided, their remains should lie. 

So, where the mouldered tree had stood, was raised 

Yon structure, framing, with the ascent of steps 

That to the decorated pillar lead, 

A work of art, more sumptuous, as might seem. 

Than suits this place ; yet built in no proud scorn 

Of rustic homeliness ; they only aimed 

To ensure for it respectful guardianship. 

Around the margin of the plate, whereon 

The shadow falls, to note the stealthy hours, 

Winds an inscriptive legend 

At these words 
Thither we turned ; and gathered, as we read, 
The appropriate sense, in Latin numbers couched. 
'* Time flies ; it is his melancholy task 
To bring, and bear away, delusive hopes. 
And reproduce the troubles he destroys. 
But, while his business thus is occupied, 
Discerning mortal ! do thou serve the will 
Of Time's eternal Master, and that peace. 
Which the world wants, shall be for thee confirmed." — 
pp. 270-273. 

The causes which have prevented the poetry of Mr. 
Wordsworth from attaining its full share of popularity 
are to be found in the boldness and originality of his 
genius. The times are past when a poet could securely 
follow the direction of his own mind into whatever tracts 
it might lead. A writer, who would be popular, must 
timidly coast the shore of prescribed sentiment and 
sympathy. He must have just as much more of the 
imaginative faculty than his readers as will serve to 
keep their apprehensions from stagnating, but not so 
much SB to alarm their jealousy. He must not think or 
feel too deeply. 

K he has had the fortune to be bred in the midst of 

Wordsworth's "excursion." 223 

the most magnificent objects of creation, he must not 
have given away his heart to them ; or if he have, he 
must conceal his love, or not carry his expressions of it 
beyond that point of rapture which the occasional tourist 
thinks it not overstepping decorum to betray, or the limit 
which that gentlemanly spy upon Nature, the picturesque 
traveller, has vouchsafed to countenance. He must do 
this, or be content to be thought an enthusiast. 

If from living among simple mountaineers, from a 
daily intercourse with them, not upon the footing of a 
patron, but in the character of an equal, he has detected, 
or imagines that he has detected, through the cloudy 
medium of their unlettered discourse, thoughts and appre- 
hensions not vulgar; traits of patience and constancy, 
love unwearied, and heroic endurance, not unfit (as he 
may judge) to be made the subject of verse, he will be 
deemed a man of perverted genius by the philanthropist 
who, conceiving of the peasantry of his country only as 
objects of a pecuniary sympathy, starts at finding them 
elevated to a level of humanity with himself, having their 
own loves, enmities, cravings, aspirations, etc., as much 
beyond his faculty to believe, as his beneficence to 

If from a familiar observation of the ways of children, 
and much more from a retrospect of his own mind when 
a child, he has gathered more reverential notions of that 
state than fall to the lot of ordinary observers, and, 
escaping from the dissonant wrangUngs of men, has 
tuned his lyre, though but for occasional harmonies, to 
the milder utterance of that soft age, — his verses shall 
be censured as infantile by critics who confound poetry 
"having children for its subject" with poetry that is 
"childish," and who, having themselves perhaps never 
been children^ never having possessed the tenderness 
and docility of that age, know not what the soul of a 
child is — how apprehensive! how imaginative! how 
religious ! 

We have touched upon some of the causes which we 

224 Wordsworth's "excursion." 

conceive to have been unfriendly to the author's former 
poems. We think they do not apply in the same force 
to the one before us. There is in it more of uniform 
elevation, a wider scope of subject, less of manner, and it 
contains none of those starts and imperfect shapings 
which in some of this author's smaller pieces oflfended the 
weak, and gave scandal to the perverse. It must indeed 
be approached with seriousness. It has in it much of that 
quality which " draws the devout, deterring the profane." 
Those who hate the " Paradise Lost " will not love this 
poem. The steps of the great master are discernible in 
it; not in direct imitation or injurious parody, but in 
the following of the spirit, in free homage and generous 

One objection it is impossible not to foresee. It will be 
asked, why put such eloquent discourse in the mouth of 
a pedlar 1 It might be answered that Mr. Wordsworth's 
plan required a character in humble life to be the organ 
of his phnosophy. It was in harmony with the system 
and scenery of his poem. We read " Piers Plowman's 
Creed," and the lowness of the teacher seems to add a 
simple dignity to the doctrine. Besides, the poet has 
bestowed an unusual share of education upon him. Is 
it too much to suppose that the author, at some early 
period of his life, may himself have known such a person, 
a man endowed with sentiments above his situation, 
another Bums ; and that the dignified strains which he 
has attributed to the Wanderer may be no more than 
recollections of Ms conversation, heightened only by the 
amplification natural to poetry, or the lustre which 
imagination flings back upon the objects and companions 
of our youth ? After all, if there should be found readers 
willing to admire the poem, who yet feel scandalised at 
a namey we would advise them, wherever it occurs, to 
substitute silently the word Palmer, or PUgrim, or any 
less offensive designation, which shall connect the notion 
of sobriety in heart and manners with the experience and 
privileges which a wayfaring life confers. 



The Jovial Crew^ or the Merry Beggars, has been 
revived here [at the English Opera] after an interval, as 
the bills tell us, of seven years. Can it be so long (it 
seems but yesterday) since we saw poor Lovegrove in 
Justice Clack? His childish treble still pipes in our 
ears; "Whip *em, whip 'em, whip 'em." Dow ton was 
the representative of the Justice the other night, and 
shook our ribs most incontinently. He was in "excel- 
lent foolery," and our lungs crowed chanticleer. Yet it 
appears to us that there was a still higher strain of 
fatuity in his predecessor — that his eyes distilled a richer 
dotage. Perhaps, after all, it was an error of the memory. 
Defunct merit comes out upon us strangely. 

Easy natural Wrench was the Springlove ; too com- 
fortable a personage perhaps to personify Springlove, in 
whom the voice of the bird awakens a restless instinct of 
roaming that had slept during the winter. Miss Steven- 
son certainly leaves us nothing to regret for the absence 
of the lady, however agreeable, who formerly performed 
the part of Meriel. Miss Stevenson is a fine open-coun- 
tenanced lass, with glorious girlish manners. But the 
Princess of Mumpers, and Lady Paramount of beggarly 
counterfeit accents, was she that played Rachel. Her 
gabbling lachrymose petitions; her tones, such as we 
have heard by the side of old woods, when an irresistible 
face has come peeping on one on a sudden ; with her ftiU 



black locks, and a voice — how shall we describe it 1 — a 
voice that was by nature meant to convey nothing but 
truth and goodness, but warped by circumstance into an 
assurance that she is telling us a lie — that catching 
twitch of the thievish irreprovable finger — those ballad- 
singers' notes, so vulgar, yet so unvulgar — that assurance 
so like impudence and yet so many countless leagues 
removed from it — her jeers, which we had rather stand, 
than be caressed with other ladies' compliments, a 
summer's day long — her face with a wild out-of-doors 
grace upon it 

Altogether, a brace of more romantic she-beggars it 
was never our fortune to meet in this supplicatory world. 
The youngest might have sat for " pretty Bessy," whose 
father was an Earl, and whose legend still adorns the 
front of mine hostess's doors at Bethnal Green ; and the 
other could be no less than the " Beggar Maid " whom 
"King Oophetua wooed." "What a lass that were," 
said a stranger who sate beside us, speaking of Miss 
Kelly in Rachel, "to go argypsying through the world 
with." We confess we longed to drop a tester in her 
lap, she begged so masterly.- 

By-the-way, this is the true Beggar^s Opera, The 
other should have been called the Mirror for Highway- 
men, We wonder the Societies for the Suppression of 
Mendicity (and other good things) do not club for the 
putting down of this infamous protest in favour of air, 
and dear liberty, and honest license, and blameless asser- 
tion of man's original blest charter of blue skies, and 
vagrancy, and nothing-to-do. 

July 4, 1819. 


By one - of those perversions which actuate poor mortals 
in the place of motives (to persuade us into the notion 
that we are free agents, we presume), we had never tiU 


the other eycning seen Dowton [at the English Opera] 
in Dr. Oantwell. By a pious fraud of Mr. Arnold's, who 
by a process as simple as some of those by which Mathews 
metamorphoses his person, has converted the play into 
an opera, — a conversion, by-the-way, for which we are 
deeply indebted to him, — ^we have been favoured with 
this rich novelty at our favourite theatre. It seems a 
little unreasonable to come lagging in with a posthumous 
testimony to the merits of a performance of which the 
town has long rung, but we cannot help remarking in 
Mr. Dowton's acting, the subtle gradations of the hypo- 
crisy ; the length to which it runs in proportion as the 
recipient is capable of taking it in; the gross palpable 
way in which he administers the dose in wholesale to old 
Lady Lambert, that rich fanatic; the somewhat more 
guarded manner in which he retails it out, only so much 
a time as he can bear, to the somewhat less bitten fool 
her son ; and the almost absence of it before the younger 
members of the family, when nobody else is by; how 
the cloven foot peeps out a little and a little more, till 
the diabolical nature is stung out at last into full mani- 
festation of its horrid self. What a grand insolence in 
the tone which he assumes, when he commands Sir John 
to quit hU house; and then the tortures and agonies 
when he is finally baffled ! It is in these last perhaps 
that he is greatest, and we should be doing iiyustice not 
to compare this part of the performance with, and in some 
respects to give it the preference above, the acting of Mr. 
Kean, in a situation nearly analogous, at the conclusion 
of the City Madam. Oantwell reveals his pangs with 
quite as much force, and without the assistance of those 
contortions which transform the detected Luke into the 
similitude of a mad tiger, or a foaming demon. Dowton 
plays it neither like beast nor demon, but simply as it 
should be, a bold bad man pushed to extremity. Humanity 
is never once overstepped. Has it ever been noticed, the 
exquisite modulation with which he drawls out the word 
"Charles," when he calls his secretary, so humble, so 


seraphic, so resigned. The most diabolical of her sex 
that we ever knew accented her honey devil words in 
just such a hymn-like smoothness. The spirit of Whit- 
field seems hovering in the air, to suck the blessed tones 
so much like his own upon earth: Lady Huntingdon 
claps her neat white wings, and gives it out again in 
heaven to the sainted ones, in approbation. 

Miss Kelly is not quite at home in Charlotte ; she is 
too good for such parts. Her cue is to be natural ; she 
cannot put on the modes of artificial life, and play the 
coquette as it is expected to be played. There is a 
frankness in her tones which defeats her purposes ; we 
could not help wondering why her lover (Mr. Pearman) 
looked so rueful ; we forgot that she was acting airs and 
graces, as she seemed to forget it herself, turning them 
into a playfulness which could breed no doubt for a 
moment which way her inclinations ran. She is in truth 
not framed to tease or torment even in jest, but to utter 
a hearty Yes or No ; to yield or refuse assent with a 
noble sincerity. We have not the pleasure of being 
acquainted with her, but we have been told that she 
carries the same cordial manners into private life. We 
have heard, too, of some virtues which she is in the 
practice of; but they are of a description which repay 
themselves, and with them neither we nor the public have 
anything to do. 

One word about Wrench who played the Colonel : — 
Was this man never unhappy ? It seems as if care never 
came near him, as if the black ox could never tread upon 
his foot ; we want something calamitous to befall him, 
to bring him down to us. It is a shame he should be 
suffered to go about with his well-looking happy face and 
tones insulting us thin race of irritable and irritable- 
making critics. 

Aiigust 2, 1819. 



A PLOT has broke out at this theatre. Some quarrel has 
been breeding between the male and female performers, 
and the women have detennined to set up for themselves. 
Seven of them, Belles wiikout Beaux they call themselves, 
have undertaken to get up a piece without any assistance 
from the men, and in our opinion have established their 
point most successfully. There is Miss Oarew with her 
silvery tones, and Miss Stevenson with her delicious 
mixture of the school-girl and the waiting-maid, and Miss 
Kelly, sure to be first in any mischief, and Mrs. Chatterly, 
with some of the best acting we have ever witnessed, and 
Miss Love, worthy of the namcy and Mrs. Grove that 
rhymes to her, and Mrs. Richardson who might in charity 
have been allowed somewhat a larger portion of the 
dialogue. The eflfect was enchanting. We mean for once. 
We do not want to encourage these Amazonian vanitiea 
Once or twice we longed to have Wrench bustling among 
them. A lady who sate near us was observed to gape 
for want of variety. To us it was delicate quintessence, 
an apple-pie made all of quinces. We remember poor 
Holcroft's last comedy, which positively died from the 
opposite excess ; it was choked up with men, and perished 
from a redundancy of male population. It had nine 
principal men characters in it, and but one woman, and 
she of no very ambiguous character. Mrs. Harlow, to 
do the part justice, chose to play it in scarlet. 

We did not know Mrs. Chatterly's merits before ; she 
plays, with downright sterling good acting, a prude who 
is to be convinced out of her prudery by Miss Kelly's (we 
did not catch her stage name) assumption of the dress and 
character of a brother of seventeen, who makes the 
prettiest unalarming platonic approaches; and in the 
shyest mark of moral battery, no one step of which you 
can detect, or say this is decidedly going too far, vanquishes 
at last the ice of her scruples, brings her into an infinite 


scrape, and then with her own infinite good humour sets 
all to right, and brings her safe out of it again with 
an explanation. Mrs. Chatterl/s embarrassments were 
masterly. Miss Stevenson, her maid's, start at surprising 
a youth in her mistress's closet at midnight, was quite as 
good. Miss Kelly we do not care to say anything about, 
because we have been accused of flattering her. The 
truth is, this lady puts so much intelligence and good 
sense into every part which she plays, that there is no 
expressing an honest sense of her merits, without incurring 
a suspicion of that sort. But what have we to gain by 
praising Miss KeUy 1 

Altogether, this little feminine republic, this provoking 
experiment, went off most smoothly. What a nice world 
it would be, we sometimes think, cdl women I but then 
we are afraid, we slip in a fallacy unawares into the hypo- 
thesis; we somehow edge in the idea of ourselves as 
spectators or something among them. 

We saw Wilkinson after it in Walk for a Wager. 
What a picture of forlorn hope ! of abject orphan destitu- 
tion ! he seems to have no Mends in the world but his 
legs, and he plies them accordingly. He goes walking 
on like a perpetual motion. His continual ambulatory 
presence performs the part of a Greek chorus. He is the 
walking gentleman of the piece ; a peripatetic that would 
make a stoic laugh. He made us cry. His Muffincap 
in Amateurs and Actors is just such another piece of 
acting. We have seen charity boys, both of St. Clement's 
and Farringdon Without, looking just as old, ground 
down out of all semblance of youth, by abject and hope- 
less neglect — ^you cannot guess their age between fifteen 
and fifty. If Mr. Peake is the author of these pieces he 
has no reason to be piqued at their reception. 

We must apologise for an oversight in our last week's 
article. The allusion made to Mr. Kean's acting of Luke 
in the City Madam was totally inapplicable to the part 
and to the play. We were thinking of his performance 
of the concluding scenes of The New Way to Pay Old 


Debts, We confounded one of Massinger's strange heroes 
with the other. It was Sir Giles Overreach we meant ; 
nor are we sure that our remark was just, even with this 
explanation. When we consider the intense tone in which 
Mr. Kean thinks it proper (and he is quite as likely to 
be in the right as his blundering critic) to pitch the 
temperament of that monstrous character from the 
beginning, it follows but logically and naturally that 
where the wild uncontrollable man comes to be baffled 
of his purpose, his passion should assume a frenzied 
manner, which it was altogether absurd to expect shoidd 
be the same with the manner of the cautious and self- 
restraining Cantwell, even when he breaks loose from all 
bonds in the agony of his final exposure. We never felt 
more strongly the good sense of the saying — comparisons 
are odious. They betray us not seldom into bitter errors 
of judgment; and sometimes, as in the present instance, 
into absolute matter-of-fact blunders. But we have 

Ay>gust 1819. 


Dear G , — I was thinking yesterday of our old 

play -going days, of your and my partiality to Mrs. 
Jordan, of our disputes as to the relative merits of Dodd 
and Parsons, and whether Smith or Jack Palmer were 
the most of a gentleman. The occasion of my falling 
into this train of thinking, was my learning from the 
newspapers that Miss Kelly is paying the Bath Theatre 
a visit (your own theatre, I am sorry to find, is shut up, 
either from parsimonious feelings, or through the influence 

of principles). 1 This lady has long ranked 

among the most considerable of our London performers. 
If there are one or two of greater name, I must impute 

^ The word here omitted by the Bristol Editor, we suppose, is 


it to the circamstance that she has never burst upon the 
town at once in the maturity of her powers, which is a 
great advantage to dibtUantes who have passed their 
probationary years in Provincial Theatres. We do not 
hear them tuning their instruments. But she has been 
winning her patient way from the humblest degradations 
to the eminence which she has now attained, on the self- 
same, boards which supported her first in the slender 
pretensions of chorus singer. I very much wish you 
woidd go and see her. You will not see Mrs. Jordan, 
but something else ; something on the whole very little, 
if at all, inferior to that lady in her best dajrs. I cannot 
hope that you will think so, I do not even wish that you 
should. Our longest remembrances are the most sacred, 
and I shall revere the prejudice that shall prevent you 
from thinking quite so favourably of her as I do. I do 
not weU know how to draw a parallel between their 
distinct manners of acting. I seem to recognise the 
same pleasantness and nature in both. But Mrs. Jordan's 
was the carelessness of a child ; her childlike spirit shook 
off the load of years from her spectators ; she seemed one 
whom care could not come near ; a privileged being sent 
to teach mankind what he most wants — joyousness. 
Hence, if we had more unmixed pleasure from her per- 
formances, we had perhaps less sympathy with them than 
with those of her successor. This latter lady's is the joy 
of a freed spirit escaping from care, as a bird that had 
been limed; her smiles, if I may use the expression, 
seemed saved out of the fire, relics which a good spirit 
had snatched up as most portable ; her discontents are 
visitors and not inmates : she can lay them by altogether, 
and when she does so, I am not sure that she is not 
greatest. She is in truth no ordinary tragedian. Her 
Yarico is the most intense piece of acting which I ever 
witnessed, the most heart-rending spectacle. To see her 
leaning upon that wretched reed, her lover — the very 
exhibition of whose character would be a moral offence, 
but for her clinging and noble credulity — to see her lean 


upon that flint, and by the strong workings of passion, 
imagine it a god, is one of the most aMcting lessons of 
the yearnings of the human heart, and its mistakes, that 
was ever read upon a stage. The whole performance is 
everywhere African, fervid, glowing. Nor is this anything 
more than the wonderful force of imagination in this per- 
former ; for turn but the scene, and you shall have her 
come forward in some kindly home-drawn character of an 
English rustic, a Phoebe, or a Dinah Cropley where you 
would swear that her thoughts had never strayed beyond 
the precincts of the dairy or the farm, or her mind known 
less tranquil passions than she might have learned among 
the flock, her out-of-door companions. See her again in 
parts of pure ftm, such as the Housemaid in the Merry 
Mourners, where the suspension of the broom in her hand, 
which she has been delightfully twirling, on unexpectedly 
encountering her sweetheart in the character of her 
fellow-servant, is quite equal to Mrs. Jordan's cordia] 
inebriation in Nell. I do not know whether I am not 
speaking it to her honour, that she does not succeed in 

what are called fine lady parts. Our friend once 

observed that no man of genius ever figured as a gentle- 
man. Neither did any woman gifted with Mrs. Jordan's 
or Miss Kelly's sensibilities ever take upon herself to 
shine as a fine lady ; the very essence of this character 
consisting in the entire repression of all genius and all 
feeling. To sustain a part of this kind to the life, a 
performer must be haunted by a perpetual self-reference, 
she must be always thinking of herself, and how she 
looks, and how she deports herself in the eyes of the 
spectators ; whereas the delight of actresses of true 
feeling and their chief power, is to elude the personal 
notice of an audience, to escape into their parts and hide 
themselves under the hood of their assumed character. 
Their most self-possession is in fact a self-forgetfulness ; 
an oblivion alike of self and spectators. For this reason 
your most approved epilogue-speakers have been always 
ladies who have possessed least of this self- forgetting 


quality; and I think I have seen the amiable actress in 
question suffering some embarrassment, when she has 
had an address of the sort to deliver ; when she found 
the modest veil of personation, which had half hid her 
from the audience, suddenly withdrawn, and herself 
brought without any such gratifying intervention before 
the public. 

I would apologise for the length of this letter, if I did 
not remember the lively interest you used to take in 
theatrical performers. 

I am, etc. etc. 
February 7, 1819. 


(Sydney, New South Wales. Printed fop Private Distribution. 

By Barron Field.) 

I first adventure ; follow me who list : 
And be the second Austral harmonist. 

Whoever thou art that hast transplanted the British 
wood-notes to the far-off forests which the Kangaroo 
haunts — whether thou art some involuntary exile that 
solaces his sad estrangement with recurrence to his native 
notes, with more wisdom than those captive Hebrews of 
old refused to sing their Sion songs in a strange land — 
or whether, as we rather suspect, thou art that valued 
friend of ours, who, in thy young time of life, together 
with thy faithful bride, thy newly " wedded flower," didst, 
in obedience to the stem voice of duty, quit thy friends, 
thy family, thy pleasing avocations, the Muses with which 
thou wert as deeply smitten as any, we believe, in our age 
and country, to go and administer tedious justice in 
inauspicious unliterary Thiefland,^ we reclaim thee for 
our own, and gladly would transport thee back to thy 
native " fields," and studies congenial to thy habits. 

We know a merry captain, and co-navigator with Cook, 
who prides himself upon having planted the first pun in 
Otaheite. It was in their own language, and the islanders 
first looked at him, then stared at one another, and all at 
once burst out into a genial laugh. It was a stranger, 

^ An elegant periphrasis for the Bay, Mr. Coleridge led us the 
way — " Oloudland, gorgeous land." 


and 88 a stranger they gave it welcome. Many a quibble 
of their own growth, we doubt not, has since sprung fix)m 
that well-timed exotic. Where puns flourish, there must 
be no inconsiderable advance in civilisation. The same 
good results we are willing to augur from this dawn of 
refinement at Sydney. They were beginning to have 
something like a theatrical establishment there, which we 
are sorry to hear has been suppressed; for we are of 
opinion with those who think that a taste for such kind 
of entertainments is one remove at least from profligacy, 
and that Shakspere and Gay may be as safe teachers of 
morality as the ordinary treatises which assume to instil 
that science. We have seen one of their play-bills (while 
the thing was permitted to last), and were aflected by it 
in no ordinary degree, particularly in the omission of the 
titles of honour, which in this country are condescendingly 
conceded to the players. In their Dramatis Personse, 
Jobson was played by Smith; Ladp Lovervle^ Jones; 
Nell, Wilkinson ; gentlemen and lady performers alike 
curtailed of their fair proportions. With a little patronage, 
we prophesy, that in a very few years the histrionic estab- 
lishment of Sydney would have risen in respectability ; 
and the humble performers would, by tacit leave or open 
permission, have been allowed to use the same encouraging 
aflfixes to their names, which dignify their prouder brethren 
and sisters in the mother country. What a moral advance- 
ment, what a lift in the scale, to a Braham or a Stephens 
of New South Wales, to write themselves Mr, and Miss / 
The King here has it not in his power to do so much for 
a commoner, no, not though he dub him a Duke. 

The " First Fruits " consist of two poems. The first 
celebrates the plant epacris grandijiora ; but we are no 
botanists, and perhaps there is too much matter mixed up 
in it from the Midsummer NigMs Dream to please some 
readers. The thefts are indeed so open and palpable, 
that we almost recur to our first surmise, that the author 
must be some imfortunate wight, sent on his travels for 
plagiarisms of a more serious complexion. But the old 


matter and the new blend kindly together, and must, we 
hope, have proved right acceptable to more than one 

-Among the fair 

Of that young land of Shakspere's tongue. 

We select for our readers the second poem; and are 
mistaken if it does not relish of the graceful hyperboles 
of our elder writers. We can conceive it to have been 
written by Andrew Marvell, supposing him to have been 
banished to Botany Bay, as he did, we believe, once 
meditate a voluntary exile to Bermuda. See his fine 
poem, " Where the remote Bermudas ride." 


The widow Blacket, of Oxford, is the largest female I 
ever had the pleasure of beholding. There may be her 
parallel upon the earth ; but surely I never saw it. I 
take her to be lineally descended from the maid's aunt 
of Brainford, who caused Master Ford such uneasiness. 
She hath Atlantean shoulders; and, as she stoopeth in 
her gait, — ^with as few offences to answer for in her own 
particular as any one of Eve's daughters, — her back seems 
broad enough to bear the blame of all the peccadilloes 
that have been committed since Adam. She girdeth her 
waist — or what she is pleased to esteem as such — nearly 
up to her shoulders ; from beneath which that huge 
dorsal expanse, in mountainous declivity, emergeth. Re- 
spect for her alone preventeth the idle boys, who foUow 
her about in shoals, whenever she cometh abroad, from 
getting up and riding. But her presence infallibly com- 
mands a reverence. She is indeed, as the Americans 
would express it, something awfriL Her person is a 
burthen to herself no less than to the ground which bears 
her. To her mighty bone, she had a pinguitude withal, 
which makes the depth of winter to her the most desir- 
able season. Her distress in the warmer solstice is 
pitiable. During the months of July and August, she 
usually renteth a cool cellar, where ices are kept, where- 
into she descendeth when Sinus rageth. She dates from 
a hot Thursday, — some twenty-five years ago. Her 
apartment in sunmier is pervious to the four winds. 
Two doors, in north and south direction, and two win- 


dows, fronting the rising and the setting sun, never 
closed, from every cardinal point catch the contributory 
breezes. She loves to eigoy what she calls a quadruple 
draught That must be a shrewd zephyr that can escape 
her. I owe a painM face-ache, which oppresses me at 
this moment, to a cold caught, sitting by her, one day in 
last July, at this receipt of coolness. Her fan, in ordi- 
nary, resembleth a banner spread, which she keepeth con- 
tinually on the alert to detect the least breeze. She 
possesseth an active and gadding mind, totally incom- 
mensurate with her person. No one delighteth more 
than herself in country exercises and pastimes. I have 
passed many an agreeable holiday with her in her favourite 
park at Woodstock. She peiforms her part in these 
delightful ambulatory excursions by the aid of a portable 
garden-chair. She setteth out with you at a fair foot- 
gallop, which she keepeth up till you are both well- 
breathed, and then reposeth she for a few seconds. 
Then she is up again for a hundred paces or so, and 
again resteth ; her movements, on these sprightly occa- 
sions, being something between walking and flying. Her 
great weight seemeth to propel her forward, ostrich- 
fashion. In this kind of relieved marching, I have 
traversed with her many scores of acres on those well- 
wooded and well -watered domains. Her delight at 
Oxford is in the public walks and gardens, where, when 
the weather is not too oppressive, she passeth much of 
her valuable tima There is a bench at Maudlin, or 

rather situated between the frontiers of that and 's 

College (some litigation, latterly, about repairs, has vested 

the property of it finally in ^'s), where, at the hour 

of noon, she is ordinarily to be found sitting, — so she 
calls it by courtesy, — but, in fact, pressing and breaking 
of it down with her enormous settlement ; as both those 
foundations, — ^who, however, are good-natured enough to 
wink at it, — ^have found, I believe, to their cost. Here 
she taketh the fresh air, principally at vacation-times, 
when the walks are freest from interruption of the 


younger fry of students. Here she passeth her idle 
hours, not idly, but generally accompanied with a book, 
— ^blessed if she can but intercept some resident Fellow 
(as usually there are some of that brood left behind at 
these periods), or stray Master of Arts (to most of them 
she is better known than their dinner bell), with whom 
she may confer upon any curious topic of literature. I 
have seen these shy gownsmen, who truly set but a very 
slight value upon female conversation, cast a hawk's eye 
upon her from the length of Maudlin Grove, and warily 
glide off into another walk, — true monks as they are; 
and urgently neglecting the delicacies of her polished 
converse for their own perverse and uncommunicating 
solitariness ! Within -doors, her principal diversion is 
music, vocal and instrumental ; in both which she is no 
mean professor. Her voice is wonderfully fine ; but till 
I got used to it, I confess it staggered me. It is, for all 
the world, like that of a piping bullfinch ; while, from 
her size and stature, you would expect notes to drown 
the deep organ. The shake, which most fine singers 
reserve for the close or cadence, by some unaccountable 
flexibility, or tremulousness of pipe, she carrieth quite 
through the composition ; so that her time, to a common 
air or ballad, keeps double motion, like the earth, — 
running the primary circuit of the tune, and still revolv- 
ing upon its own axis. The effect, as I said before, when 
you are used to it, is as agreeable as it is altogether new 
and surprising. The spacious apartment of her outward 
frame lodgeth a soul in all respects disproportionate. Of 
more than mortal make, she evinceth withal a trembling 
sensibility, a yieldiug infirmity of purpose, a quick sus- 
ceptibility to reproach, and all the train of diffident and 
blushing virtues, which for their habitation usually seek 
out a feeble frame, an attenuated and meagre constitution. 
With more than man's bulk, her humours and occupations 
are eminently feminine. She sighs, — ^being six feet high. 
She languisheth, — being two feet wide. She worketh 
slender sprigs upon the delicate muslin, — her fingers 



being capable of moulding a Colossus. She sippeth her 
wine out of her glass daintily — her capacity being that 
of a tun of Heidelberg. She goeth mincingly with those 
feet of hers, whose solidity need not fear the black ox's 
pressure. Softest and largest of thy sex, adieu! By 
what parting attribute may I salute thee, last and best 
of the Titanesses, — Ogress, fed with milk instead of 
blood ; not least, or least handsome, among Oxford's 
stately structures, — Oxford, who, in its deadest time of 
vacation, can never properly be said to be empty, having 
thee to fill it. 



As long as I can remember the play of The Tempest, one 
passage in it has always set me upon wondering. It has 
puzzled me beyond measure. In vain I strove to find 
the meaning of it. I seemed doomed to cherish infinite, 
hopeless curiosity. 

It is where Prospero, relating the banishment of 
Sycorax from Argier, adds : — 

For one thing that she did. 

They would not take her life. 

How have I pondered over this when a boy ! How 
have I longed for some authentic memoir of the witch to 
clear up the obscurity ! Was the story extant in the 
chronicles of Algiers ? Oould I get at it by some for- 
tunate introduction to the Algenne ambassador? Was 
a voyage thither practicable? The Spectator, I knew, 
went to Grand Cairo only to measure the pyramid- Was 
not the object of my quest of at least as much importance? 
The blue-eyed hag ! could she have done anything good 
or meritorious ? might that succubus relent ? then might 
there be hope for the Devil. I have often admired since 
that none of the commentators have boggled at this 
passage; how they could swallow this camel, — such a 
tantalising piece of obscurity, such an abortion of an 

At length I think I have lighted upon a clue which 
may lead to show what was passing in the mind of 
Shakspere when he dropped this imperfect rumour. In 
the "Accurate Description of Africa, by John Ogilby 


(folio), 1670," page 230, I find written as follows. The 
marginal title to the narrative is, "Charles the Fifth 
besieges Algier" : — 

" In the last place, we will briefly give an account of 
the Emperor Charles the Fifth, when he besieged this 
city : and of the great loss he suffered therein. 

" This prince, in the year one thousand five hundred 
forty -one, having embarqued upon the sea an army of 
twenty -two thousand men aboard eighteen galleys, and 
an hundred tall ships, not counting the barques and 
shallops, and other small boats, in which he had engaged 
the principal of the Spanish and Italian nobility, with a 
good number of the Knights of Malta ; he was to land 
on the coasts of Barbary, at a cape called Matifou. From 
this place unto the city of Algier, a flat shore or strand 
extends itself for about four leagues, the which is exceed- 
ing favourable to galleys. There he put ashore with his 
army, and in a few days caused a fortress to be built, 
which imto this day is called the castle of the Emperor. 

" In the meantime the city of Algier took the alarm, 
having in it at that time but eight hundred Turks, and 
six thousand Moors, poor-spirited men, and unexercised 
in martial affairs ; besides it was at that time fortified 
only with walls, and had no outworks : insomuch that 
by reason of its weakness, and the great forces of the 
Emperor, it could not in appearance escape taking. In 
fine, it was attempted with such order, that the army 
came up to the very gates, where the Chevalier de 
Savignac, a Frenchman by nation, made himself remark- 
able above all the rest by the miracles of his valour. 
For having repulsed the Turks, who, having made a 
sally at the gate called Eabason, and there desiring to 
enter along with them, when he saw that they shut the 
gate upon him, he ran his poniard into the same, and 
left it sticking deep therein. They next fell to battering 
the city by the force of cannon ; which the assailants so 
weakened, that in that great extremity the defendants 
lost their courage, and resolved to surrender. 


" But as they were thus intending, there was a witch 
of the town, whom the history does not name, which 
went to seek out Assam Aga, that commanded within, 
and prayed him to make it good yet nine days longer 
with assurance, that within that time he should infallibly 
see Algier delivered from that siege, and the whole army 
of the enemy dispersed so that Christians should be as 
cheap as birds. In a word, the thing did happen in the 
manner as foretold; for upon the twenty-firat day of 
October, in the same year, there fell a continual rain 
upon the land, and so fiirious a storm at sea, that one 
might have seen ships hoisted into the clouds, and in one 
instant again precipitated into the bottom of the water : 
insomuch that that same dreadful tempest was followed 
with the- loss of fifteen galleys, and above an himdred 
other vessels ; which was the cause why the Emperor, 
seeing his army wasted by the bad weather, pursued by 
a famine, occasioned by wrack of his ships, in which was 
the greatest part of his victuals and ammunition, he was 
constrained to raise the siege, and set sail for Sicily, 
whither he retreated with the miserable reliques of his 

" In the meantime that witch being acknowledged the 
deliverer of Algier, was richly remunerated, and the credit 
of her charms authorised. So that ever since, witchcraft 
hath been very freely tolerated ; of which the chief of the 
town, and even those who are esteemed to be of greatest 
sanctity among them, such as are the Marabous, a religious 
order of their sects, do for the most part make profession 
of it, under a goodly pretext of certain revelations which 
they say they have had from their prophet, Mahomet. 

" And hereupon those of Algier, to palliate the shame 
and the reproaches that are thrown upon them for making 
use of a witch in the danger of this siege, do say that the 
loss of the forces of Charles V. was caused by a prayer of 
one of their Marabous, named Cidy Utica, which was at 
that time in great credit, not imder the notion of a 
magician, but for a person of a holy life. Afterwards in 


remembrance of their success, they have erected unto him 
a small mosque without the Babason gate, where he is 
buried, and in which they keep sundry lamps burning in 
honour of him : nay, they sometimes repair thither to 
make their sola, for a testimony of greater veneration." 

Can it be doubted, for a moment, that the dramatist 
had come fresh from reading some older narrative of this 
deliverance of Algier by a witch, and transferred the 
merit of the deed to his Sycorax, exchanging only the 
" rich remuneration," which did not suit his purpose, to 
the simple pardon of her lifel Ogilby wrote in 1670; 
but the authorities to which he refers for his account of 
Barbary are Johannes de Leo, or Africanus, Louis Marmol, 
Diego de Haedo, Johannes Gramaye, Braeves, GeL Curio, 
and Diego de Torres, names totally unknown to me, and 
to which I beg leave to refer the curious reader for his 
friUer satisfaction. 


To the Editor of the London Magazine^ 

Deab Sm, — I send you a bantering " Epistle to an Old 
Gentleman whose Education is supposed to have been 
neglected." Of course, it was suggested by some letters 
of your admirable Opium-Eater, the discontinuance of 
which has caused so much regret to myself in common 
with most of your readers. You will do me injustice by 
supposing that, in the remotest degree, it was my intention 
to ridicule those papers. The fact is, the most serious 
things may give rise to an innocent burlesque ; and, the 
more serious they are, the fitter they become for that 
purpose. It is not to be supposed that Charles Cotton 
did not entertain a very high regard for Virgil, notwith- 
standing he travestied that poet. Yourself can testify 
the deep respect I have always held for the profound 
learning and penetrating genius of our friend. Nothing 
upon earth would give me greater pleasure than to find 
that he has not lost sight of his entertaining and 
instructive purpose. 

I am, dear Sir, yours and his sincerely, 


My dea£ Sir, — The question which you have done me 
the honour to propose to me, through the medium of our 
common friend, Mr. Grierson, I shall endeavour to answer 


with as much exactness as a limited observation and 
experience can warrant. 

You ask,— or rather Mr. Grierson, in his own interest- 
ing language, asks for you, — " Whether a person at the 
age of sixty-three, with no more proficiency than a tolerable 
knowledge of most of the characters of the English alphabet 
at first sight amounts to, by dint of persevering application 
and good masters, a docile and ingenuous disposition on 
the part of the pupil always presupposed, — may hope to 
arrive, within a presumable number of years, at that 
degree of attainments which shall entitle the possessor to 
the character, which you are on so many accounts justly 
desirous of acquiring, of a learned man,^^ 

This is fairly and candidly stated, — only I could wish 
that on one point you had been a little more explicit. 
In the meantime, I will take it for granted, that by a 
"knowledge of the alphabetic characters" you confine 
your meaning to the single powers only, as you are silent 
on the subject of the diphthongs and harder combinations. 

Why, truly, sir, when I consider the vast circle of 
sciences, — it is not here worth while to trouble you with 
the distinction between learning and science, which a man 
must be understood to have made the tour of in these 
days, before the world wiU be willing to concede to him 
the title which you aspire to, — I am almost disposed to 
reply to your inquiry by a direct answer in the negative. 

However, where all cannot be compassed, a great deal 
that is truly valuable may be accomplished. I am un- 
willing to throw out any remarks that should have a 
tendency to damp a hopefiil genius ; but I must not, in 
fairness, conceal fi-om you that you have much to do. 
The consciousness of difficulty is sometimes a spur to 
exertion. Rome — or rather, my dear sir, to borrow an 
illustration from a place as yet more familiar to you, 
Rumford — Rumford was not bmlt in a day. 

Your mind as yet, give me leave to tell you, is in the 
state of a sheet of white paper. We must not blot or 
blur it over too hastily. Or, to use an opposite simile, it 



is like a piece of parchment all bescrawled and bescribbled 
over with characters of no sense or import, which we must 
carefully erase and remove before we can make way for 
the authentic characters or impresses which are to be 
substituted in their stead by the corrective hand of 

Your mind, my dear sir, again, resembles that same 
parchment, which we will suppose a little hardened by 
time and disuse. We may apply the characters; but 
are we sure that the ink will sink ? 

You are in the condition of a traveller that has all his 
journey to begin. And, again, you are worse off than 
the traveller which I have supposed ; for you have already 
lost your way. 

You have much to learn, which you have never been 
taught; and more, I fear, to unlearn, which you have 
been taught erroneously. You have hitherto, I dare say, 
imagined that the sun moves round the earth. When 
you shall have mastered the true solar system, you will 
have quite a different theory upon that point, I assure 
you. I mention but this instance. Your own experi- 
ence, as knowledge advances, will furnish you with many 

I can scarcely approve of the intention, which Mr. 
Grierson informs me you have contemplated, of entering 
yourself at a common seminary, and working your way 
up from the lower to the higher forms with the children. 
I see more to admire in the modesty than in the expe- 
diency of such a resolution. I own I cannot reconcile 
myself to the spectacle of a gentleman at your time of 
life, seated, as must be your case at first, below a tyro of 
four or five, for at that early age the rudiments of edu- 
cation usually commence in tMs country. I doubt whether 
more might not be lost in the point of fitness than would 
be gained in the advantages which you propose to yourself 
by this scheme. 

You say you stand in need of emulation; that this 
incitement is nowhere to be had but at a public school ; 


that you should be more sensible of your progress by 
comparing it with the daily progress of those around you. 
But have you considered the nature of emulation, and how 
it is sustained at these tender years which you would have 
to come in competition with ? I am afraid you are dream- 
ing of academic prizes and distinctions. Alas ! in the 
university for which you are preparing, the highest medal 
would be a silver penny ; and you must graduate in nuts 
and oranges. 

I know that Peter, the Great Czar — or Emperor — of 
Muscovy, submitted himself to the discipline of a dock- 
yard at Deptford, that he might learn, and convey to his 
countrymen, the noble art of shipbuilding. You are old 
enough to remember him, or at least the talk about him. 
I call to mind also other great princes, who, to instruct 
themselves in the theory and practice of war, and set an 
example of subordination to their subjects, have conde- 
scended to enrol themselves as private soldiers ; and, pass- 
ing through the successive ranks of corporal, quartermaster, 
and the rest, have served their way up to the station at 
which most princes are willing enough to set out, — of 
general and commander-in-chief over their own forces. 
But — ^besides that there is oftentimes great sham and 
pretence in their show of mock humility — the competition 
which they stooped to was with their coevals, however 
inferior to them in birth. Between ages so very disparate 
as those which you contemplate, I fear there can no 
salutary emulation subsist. 

Again : in the other alternative, could you submit to 
the ordinary reproofs and discipline of a dayschooll 
Could you bear to be corrected for your faults 1 Or how 
would it look to see you put to stand, as must be the case 
sometimes, in a comer 1 

I am afraid the idea of a public school in your circum- 
stances must be given up. 

But is it impossible, my dear sir, to find some person 
of your own age, — if of the other sex, the more agreeable, 
perhaps, — whose information, like your own, has rather 


lagged behind Ms yeaiB, who should be willing to set out 
from the same point with yourself; to undergo the same 
tasks ? — thus at once inciting and sweetening each other's 
labours in a sort of friendly rivalry. Such a one, I think, 
it would not be difficult to find in some of the western 
parts of this island, — about Dartmoor for instance. 

Or what if, from your own e8tate,-that estate, which, 
unexpectedly acquired so late in life, has inspired into 
you this generous thirst affcer knowledge, — you were to 
select some elderly peasant, that might best be spared 
from the land, to come and begin his education with you, 
that you might till, as it were, your minds together, — 
one whose heavier progress might invite, without a fear 
of discouraging, your emulation ? We might then see — 
starting from an equal post — the difference of the clownish 
and the gentle blood. 

A private education, then, or such a one as I have 
been describing, being determined on, we. must in the 
next place look out for a preceptor ; for it will be some 
time before either of you, left to yourselves, will be able 
to Bfisist the other to any great purpose in his studies. 

And now, my dear sir, if, in describing such a tutor 
as I have imagined for you, I use a style a little above the 
familiar one in which I have hitherto chosen to address 
you, the nature of the subject must be my apology. 
Difficile est de sderUiis inaderUer loqui ; which is as much 
as to say, that, ^^in treating of scientific matters, it is 
difficult to avoid the use of scientific terms." But I 
shall endeavour to be as plain as possible. I am not golQg 
to present you with the ideal of a pedagogue as it may 
exist in my fancy, or has possibly been realised in the 
persons of Buchanan and Busby. Something less than 
perfection will serve our turn. The scheme which I 
propose in this first or introductory letter has reference 
to the first four or five years of your education only ; and 
in enumerating the qualifications of him that should 
undertake the direction of your studies, I shall rather 
point out the minimum^ or leasts that I shall require of 


him, than trouble you in the search of attainments neither 
common nor necessary to our immediate purpose. 

He should be a man of deep and extensive knowledge. 
So much at least is indispensable. Something older than 
yourself, I could wish him, because years add reverence. 

To his age and great learning, he should be blessed 
with a temper and a patience willing to accommodate itself 
to the imperfections of the slowest and meanest capacities. 
Such a one, in former days, Mr. Hartlib appears to have 
been ; and such, in our days, I take Mr. Grierson to be : 
but our friend, you know, unhappily, has other engage 
ments. I do not demand a consummate grammarian; 
but he must be a thorough master of vernacular ortho- 
graphy, with an insight into the accentualities and 
punctualities of modem Saxon, or English. He must be 
competently instructed (or how shall he instruct you V) 
in the tetralogy, or first four rules, upon which not only 
arithmetic, but geometry, and the pure mathematics them- 
selves, are grounded. I do not require that he should 
have measured the globe with Cook or Ortelius ; but it 
is desirable that he should have a general knowledge (I 
do not mean a very nice or pedantic one) of the great 
division of the earth into four parts, so as to teach you 
readily to name the quarters. He must have a genius 
capable in some degree of soaring to the upper element, to 
deduce from thence the not much dissimilar computation 
of the cardinal points, or hinges, upon which those 
invisible phenomena, which naturalists agree to term 
winds, do perpetually shift and turn. He must instruct 
you, in imitation of the old Orphic fragments (the mention 
of which has possibly escaped you), in numeric and 
harmonious responses, to deliver the number of solar 
revolutions within which each of the twelve periods, into 
which the Annus Vulgaris, or common year, is divided, 
doth usually complete and terminate itself. The inter- 
calaries and other subtle problems he will do well to omit, 
till riper years and course of study shall have rendered 
you more capable thereof. He must be capable of 


embracing all history, so as, from the countless myriads 
of individual men who have peopled this globe of earth, — 
for it is a glohe^ — ^by comparison of their respective births, 
lives, deaths, fortunes, conduct, prowess, etc., to pronounce, 
and teach you to pronounce, dogmatically and catechetic- 
ally, who was the richest, who was the strongest, who 
was the wisest, who was the meekest, man that ever 
lived ; to the facilitation of which solution, you will readily 
conceive, a smattering of biography would in no incon- 
siderable degree conduce. Leaving the dialects of men 
(in one of which I shall take leave to suppose you by this 
time at least superficially instituted), you will learn to 
ascend with him to the contemplation of that unarticulated 
language which was before the written tongue ; and, with 
the aid of the elder Phrygian or -^sopic key, to interpret 
the sounds by which the animal tribes communicate their 
minds, evolving moral instruction with delight from the 
dialogue of cocks, dogs, and foxes. Or, marrying theology 
with verse, from whose mixture a beautiful and healthy 
offspring may be expected, in your own native accents 
(but purified), you wiU keep time together to the profound 
harpings of the more modem or Wattsian hymnics. 

Thus far I have ventured to conduct you to a ** hill- 
side whence you may discern the right path of a virtuous 
and noble education ; laborious, indeed, at the first ascent, 
but else so smooth, so green, so full of goodly prospects 
and melodious sounds on every side, that the harp of 
Orpheus was not more charming."^ 

With my best respects to Mr. Grierson when you see 
him, I remain, my dear Sir, your obedient servant, 


^ MUton's " Tractate on Education," addressed to Mr. Hartlib. 


The subject of our Memoir is lineally descended from 
Johan de L'Estonne (see " Domesday Book," where he is 
so written), who came in with the Conqueror, and had 
lands awarded him at Lupton Magna, in Kent. His 
particular merits or services, Fabian, whose authority I 
chiefly follow, has forgotten, or perhaps thought it im- 
material, to specify. Fuller thinks that he was standard- 
bearer to Hugo de Agmondesham, a powerful Norman 
baron, who was slain by the hand of Harold himself at 
the fatal battle of Hastings. Be this as it may, we find 
a family of that name flourishing some centuries later in 
that county. John Delliston, knight, was High Sheriff 
for Kent, according to Fabian, quirUo Henrid Sexti; 
and we trace the lineal branch flourishing downwards, — 
the orthography varying, according to the unsettled usage 
of the times, from Delleston to Leston or Liston, between 
which it seems to have alternated, till, in the latter end 
of the reign of James I., it finally settled into the 
determinate and pleasing dissyllabic arrangement which 
it still retains. Aminadab Liston, the eldest male repre- 
sentative of the family of that day, was of the strictest 
order of Puritans. Mr. Foss, of Pall Mall, has obligingly 
conmiunicated to me an undoubted tract of his, which 
bears the initials only, A. L., and is entitled, "The 
Grinning Glass, or Actor's Mirrour; wherein the vitu- 
perative Visnomy of Vicious Players for the Scene is as 
virtuously reflected back upon their mimetic Monstrosities 
as it has viciously (hitherto) vitiated with its vile Vanities 


her Votarists."' A strange title, but bearing the impress 
of those absurdities with which the title-pages of that 
pamphlet-spawning age abounded. The work bears date 
1617. It preceded the " Histriomastix" by fifteen years ; 
and, as it went before it in time, so it comes not far short 
of it in virulence. It is amusing to find an ancestor of 
Liston's thus bespattering the players at the commence- 
ment of the seventeenth century : — 

" Thinketh He " (the actor), " with his costive coun- 
tenances, to wry a sorrowing soul out of her anguish, or 
by defacing the divine denotement of destinate dignity 
(daignely described in the face humane and no other) to 
reinstamp the Paradice-plotted similitude with a novel 
and naughty approximation (not in the first intention) to 
those abhorred and ugly God-forbidden correspondences, 
with flouting Apes' jeering gibberings, and Babion bab- 
bling-like, to hoot out of countenance all modest measure, 
as if our sins were not sufficing to stoop our backs with- 
out He wresting and crooking his members to mistimed 
mirth (rather malice) in deformed fashion, leering when 
he should learn, prating for praying, goggling his eyes 
(better upturned for grace), whereas in Paradice (if we 
can go thus high for His professions) that devilish Serpent 
appeareth his undoubted Predecessor, first induing a mask 
like some roguish roistering Boscius (I spit at them all) 
to beguile with stage shows the gaping Woman, whose 
Sex hath still chiefly upheld these Mysteries, and are 
voiced to be the chief Stage-haunters, where, as I am 
told, the custom is commonly to mumble (between acts) 
apples, not ambiguously derived from that pernicious 
Pippin (worse in effect than the Apples of Discord), 
whereas sometimes the hissing sounds of displeasure, as 
I hear, do lively reintonate that snake-taking-leave, and 
diabolical goings off, in Paradice." 

The Puritanic effervescence of the early Presbyterians 
appears to have abated with time, and the opinions of 
the more immediate ancestors of our subject to have 
subsided at length into a strain of moderate Calvinism. 


Still a tincture of the old leaven was to be expected 
among the posterity of A. L. 

Our hero was an only son of Habakkuk Liston, settled 
as an Anabaptist minister upon the patrimonial soil of 
his ancestors. A regular certificate appears, thus entered 
in the Church -book at Lupton Magna : — " Johannes^ 
filiua Hahakhuh et Reheccoe Liston, Dissentientium, natus 
quinto Decern^, 1780, baptizatus sexto Fehruarii se- 
quentis ; Sponsortbics J. et W, Woollaston, unA cam 
Maria MerryweatherP The singularity of an Anabaptist 
minister conforming to the child-rites of the Church 
would have tempted me to doubt the authenticity of this 
entry, had I not been obliged with the actual sight of it 
by the favour of Mr. Minns, the intelligent and worthy 
parish clerk of Lupton. Possibly some expectation in 
point of worldly advantages from some of the sponsors 
might have induced this unseemly deviation, as it must 
have appeared, from the practice and principles of that 
generally rigid sect. The term Dissentientium was pos- 
sibly intended by the orthodox clergyman as a slur upon 
the supposed inconsistency. What, or of what nature, 
the expectations we have hinted at may have been, we 
have now no means of ascertaining. Of the Woollastons 
no trace is now discoverable in the village. The name 
of Merryweather occurs over the front of a grocer's shop 
at the western extremity of Lupton. 

Of the infant Liston we find no events recorded before 
his fourth year, in which a severe attack of the measles 
bid fair to have robbed the rising generation of a fund 
of innocent entertainment. He had it of the confluent 
kind, as it is called ; and the child's life was for a week 
or two despaired of. His recovery he always attributes 
(under Heaven) to the humane interference of one Dr. 
Wilhelm Richter, a German empiric, who, in this ex- 
tremity, prescribed a copious diet of sauer-hraut, which 
the child was observed to reach at with avidity, when 
other food repelled him -, and from this change of diet 
his restoration was rapid and complete. We have often 


heard him name the circumstance with gratitude ; and it 
is not altogether surprising that a relish for this kind of 
aliment, so abhorrent and harsh to common English 
palates, has accompanied him through life. When any 
of Mr. Liston's intimates invite him to supper, he never 
fails of finding, nearest to his knife and fork, a dish of 

At the age of nine, we find our subject under the 
tuition of the Rev. Mr. Goodenough (his fathers health 
not permitting him probably to instruct him himself), by 
whom he was inducted into a competent portion of Latin 
and Greek, with some mathematics, till the death of Mr. 
Goodenough, in his own seventieth, and Master Idston's 
eleventh year, put a stop for the present to his classical 

We have heard our hero, with emotions which do his 
heart honour, describe the awfiil circumstances attending 
the decease of this worthy old gentleman. It seems they 
had been walking out together, master and pupil, in a 
fine sunset to the distance of three-quarters of a mile 
west of Lupton, when a sudden curiosity took Mr. Good- 
enough to look down upon a chasm, where a shaft had 
been lately sunk in a mining speculation (then projecting, 
but abandoned soon after, as not answering the promised 
success, by Sir Ralph Shepperton, knight, and member 
for the county). The old clergyman leaning over, either 
with incaution or sudden giddiness (probably a mixture 
of both), suddenly lost his footing, and, to use Mr. Liston's 
phrase, disappeared, and was doubtless broken into a 
thousand pieces. The sound of his head, etc., dashing 
successively upon the projecting masses of the chasm, 
had such an effect upon the child, that a serious sickness 
ensued ; and, even for many years after his recovery, he 
was not once seen so much as to smile. 

The joint death of both his parents, which happened 
not many months after this disastrous accident, and were 
probably (one or both of them) accelerated by it, threw 
our youth upon the protection of his maternal great-aunt, 


Mrs. Sittingboum. Of this aunt we have never heard 
him speak but with expressions amounting almost to 
reverence. To the influence of her early counsels and 
manners he has always attributed the firmness with 
which, in maturer years, thrown upon a way of life 
commonly not the best adapted to gravity and self-retire- 
ment^ he has been able to maintain a serious character, 
untinctured with the levities incident to his profession. 
Ann Sittingboum (we have seen her portrait by Hudson) 
was stately, stiff, tall, with a cast of features strikingly 
resembling the subject of this memoir. Her estate in 
Kent was spacious and well-wooded ; the house one of 
those venerable old mansions which are so impressive in 
childhood, and so hardly forgotten in succeeding years. 
In the venerable solitudes of Chamwood, among thick 
shades of the oak and beech (this last his favourite tree) 
the young Liston cultivated those contemplative habits 
which have never entirely deserted him in after years. 
Here he was commonly in the summer months to be met 
with," with a book in his hand, — not a play-book,— 
meditating. Boyle's " Reflections " was at one time the 
darling volume; which, in its turn, was superseded by 
Young's " Night Thoughts," which has continued its hold 
upon him through life. He carries it always about him; 
and it is no uncommon thing for him to be seen, in the 
refreshing intervals of his occupation, leaning against a 
side-scene, in a sort of Herbert- of- Oherbury posture, 
turning over a pocket-edition of his favourite author. 

But the solitudes of Chamwood were not destined 
always to obscure the path of our young hero. The pre- 
mature death of Mrs. Sittingboum, at the age of seventy, 
occasioned by incautious burning of a pot of charcoal in 
her sleeping-chamber, left him in his nineteenth year 
nearly without resources. That the stage at all should 
have presented itself as an eligible scope for his talents, 
and, in particular, that he should have chosen a line so 
foreign to what appears to have been his turn of mind, 
may require some explanation. 



At Chamwood, then, we behold him, thoughtful, grave, 
ascetic. From his cradle averse to flesh-meats and strong 
drink ; abstemious even beyond the genius of the place, 
and almost in spite of the remonstrances of his great-aunt, 
who, though strict, was not rigid, — ^water was his habitual 
drink, and his food little beyond the mast and beech-nuts 
of his favourite groves. It is a medical fact that this 
kind of diet, however favourable to the contemplative 
powers of the primitive hermits, etc., is but ill-adapted 
to the less robust minds and bodies of a later generation. 
Hypochondria almost constantly ensues. It was so in 
the case of the young Liston. He was subject to sights, 
and had visions. Those arid beech-nuts, distilled by a 
complexion naturally adust, mounted into an occiput 
already prepared to kindle by long seclusion and the 
fervour of strict Calvinistic notions. In the glooms of 
Ohamwood he was assailed by illusions similar in kind 
to those which are related of the famous Anthony of 
Padua. Wild antic faces would ever and anon protrude 
themselves upon his sensorium. Whether he shut his 
eyes, or kept them open, the same illusions operated. 
The darker and more profound were his cogitations, the 
droller and more whimsical became the apparitions. 
They buzzed about him thick as flies, flapping at him, 
flouting him, hooting in his ear, yet with such comic 
appendages, that what at first was his bane became at 
length his solace ; and he desired no better society than 
that of his merry phantasmata. We shall presently find 
in what way this remarkable phenomenon influenced his 
fiiture destiny. 

On the death of Mrs. Sittingboum we find him received 
into the family of Mr. WUloughby, an eminent Turkey 
merchant, resident in Birchin Lane, London. We lose a 
little whUe here the chain of his history, — ^by what in- 
ducements this gentleman was determined to make him 
an inmate of his house. Probably he had had some 
personal kindness for Mrs. Sittingboum formerly; but, 
however it was, the young man was here treated more 


like a son than a clerk, though he was nominally but the 
latter. Different avocations, the change of scene, with 
that alternation of business and recreation which in its 
greatest perfection is to be had only in London appear 
to have weaned him in a short time &om the hypochon- 
driacal affections which had beset him at Chamwood. 

In the three years which followed his removal to Birchin 
Lane, we find him making more than one voyage to the 
Levant, as chief factor for Mr. Wnioughby at the Porte. 
We could easily fill our biography with the pleasant 
passages which we have heard him relate as having 
happened to him at Constantinople ; such as his having 
been taken up on suspicion of a design of penetrating the 
seraglio, etc. ; but, with the deepest convincement of this 
gentleman's own veracity, we think that some of the 
stories are of that whimsical, and others of that romantic 
nature, which, however diverting, would be out of place 
in a narrative of this kind, which aims not only at strict 
truth, but at avoiding the very appearance of the contrary. 

We wiU now bring him over the seas again, and suppose 
him m the counting-house in Birchin Lane, his protector 
satisfied with the returns of his factorage, and all going 
on so smoothly, that we may expect to find Mr. Liston 
at last an opulent merchant upon 'Change, as it is called. 
But see the turns of destiny ! Upon a summer's excur- 
sion into Norfolk, in the year 1801, the accidental sight 
of pretty Sally Parker, as she was called (then in the 
Norwich company), diverted his inclinations at once from 
commerce ; and he became, in the language of common- 
place biography, stage-struck. Happy for the lovers of 
mirth was it that our hero took this turn ; he might else 
have been to this hour that unentertaining character, a 
plodding London merchant. 

We accordingly find him shortly after making his dSbut, 
as it is called, upon the Norwich boards, in. the season of 
that year, being then in the twenty-second year of his 
age. Having a natural bent to tragedy, he chose the 
part of Pyrrhus, in the Distressed Mother, to Sally 


Parker*8 Hennione. We find him afterwards as Bam- 
well, Altamont, Chamont, etc. ; but, as if Nature had 
destined him to the sock, an unavoidable infirmity 
absolutely discapacitated him for tragedy. His person, 
at this latter period of which I have been speaking, was 
graceful, and even commanding ; his countenance set to 
gravity : he had the power of arresting the attention of 
an audience at firat sight almost beyond any other tragic 
actor. But he could not hold it. To understand this 
obstacle, we must go back a few years to those appalling 
reveries at Ohamwood. Those illusions, which had 
vanished before the dissipation of a less recluse life and 
more free society, now in his solitary tragic studies, and 
amid the intense calls upon feeling incident to tragic 
acting, came back upon him with tenfold vividness. In 
the midst of some most pathetic passage (the parting of 
Jaffier with his dying friend, for instance), he w'ould 
suddenly be surprised with a fit of violent horse-laughter. 
While the spectators were all sobbing before him with 
emotion, suddenly one of those grotesque faces would 
peep out upon him, and he could not resist the impulse. 
A limely excuse once or twice served his purpose, but no 
audiences could be expected to bear repeatedly this violar 
tion of the continuity of feeling. He describes them 
(the illusions) as so many demons haunting him, and 
paralysing every eflFect. Even now, I am told, he cannot 
recite the famous soliloquy in Hamlet^ even in private, 
without immoderate bursts of laughter. However, what 
he had not force of reason sufficient to overcome, he had 
good sense enough to turn into emolument, and deter- 
mined to make a commodity of his distemper. He 
prudently exchanged the buskin for the sock, and the 
illusions instantly ceased ; or, if they occurred for a short 
season, by their very co-operation added a zest to his 
comic vein,— rsome of his most catching faces being (as 
he expresses it) little more than transcripts and copies of 
those extraordinary phantasmata. 

We have now drawn out our hero's existence to the 


period when he was about to meet, for the first time, the 
sympathies of a London audience. The particulars of 
Ms success since have been too much before our eyes to 
render a circumstantial detaQ of them expedient. I 
shall only mention that Mr. WUloughby, his resentments 
having had time to subside, is at present one of the 
fastest friends of his old renegade factor ; and that Mr. 
Listen's hopes of Miss Parker vanishing along with his 
unsuccessful suit to Melpomene, in the autumn of 1811 
he married his present lady, by whom he has been 
blessed with one son, Philip, and two daughters, Ann 
and Augustina. 


Hark'ee, Mr. Editor. A word in your ear. They tell 
me you are going to put me in print, — in print, sir ; to 
publish my life. What is my life to you, sir ? What is 
it to you whether I ever lived at all ? My life is a very 
good life, sir. I am insured in the Pelican, sir. I am 
three-score years and six, — six, mark me, sir ; but I can 
play Polonius, which, I believe, few of your corre — 
correspondents can do, sir. I suspect tricks, sir : I smell 
a rat ; I do, I do. You would cog the die upon us ; you 
would, you would, sir. But I will forestall you, sir. 
You would be deriving me from William the Conqueror, 
with a murrain to you. It is no "such thing, sir. The 
town shall know better, sir. They begin to smoke your 
flams, sir. Mr. Liston may be bom where he pleases, 
sir ; but I will not be bom at Lup — Lupton Magna for 
anybody's pleasure, sir. My son and I have looked over 
the great map of Kent together, and we can find no such 
place as you would palm upon us, sir ; palm upon us, I 
say. Neither Magna nor Parva, as my son says, and he 
knows Latin, sir ; Latin. If you write my life trae, sir, 
you must set down, that I, Joseph Munden, comedian, 
came into the world upon Allhallows Day, Anno Domini, 
1759 — 1759; no sooner nor later, sir; and I saw the 
first light — the first light, remember, sir, at Stoke Pogis 
— Stoke Pogis, comitatu Bucks, and not at Lup — Lup 
Magna, which I believe to be no better than moonshine 
— ^moonshine ; do you mark me, sir ? I wonder you can 
put such flim-flams upon us, sir ; I do, I do. It does 


not become you, sir ; I say it, — I say it. And my father 
was an honest tradesman, sir : he dealt in malt and hops, 
sir ; and was a corporation-man, sir ; and of the Church 
of England, sir, and no Presbyterian; nor Ana — Ana- 
baptist, sir; however you may be disposed to make 
honest people believe to the contrary, sir. Your bams 
are found out, sir. The town will be your stale-puts no 
longer, sir ; and you must not send us jolly fellows, sir, — 
we that are comedians, sir, — you must not send us into 
groves and char — chamwoods a-moping, sir. Neither 
chams, nor charnel-houses, sir. It is not our constitution, 
sir : I tell it you — ^I tell it you. I was a droll dog from 
my cradle. I came into the world tittering, and the 
midwife tittered, and the gossips spilt their caudle with 
tittering; and, when I was brought to the font, the 
parson could not christen me for tittering. So I was 
never more than half baptised. And, when I was little 
Joey, I made 'em aU titter ; there was not a melancholy 
face to be seen in Pogis. Pure nature, sir. I was bom 
a comedian. Old Screwup, the undertaker, could tell you, 
sir, if he were living. Why, I was obliged to be locked 
up every time there was to be a funeral at Pogis. I was 
— I was, sirl I used to grima/ot at the mutes, as he 
called it, and put 'em out with my mops and my mows, 
till they couldn't stand at a door for me. And when I 
was locked up, with nothing but a cat in my company, I 
followed my bent with trying to make her laugh ; and 
sometimes she would, and sometimes she would not. 
And my schoolmaster could make nothing of me : I had 
only to thrust my tongue in my cheek — in my cheek, 
sir, and the rod dropped from his fingers; and so my 
education was limited, sir. And I grew up a young 
fellow, and it was thought convenient to enter me upon 
some course of life that should make me serious ; but it 
wouldn't do, sir. And I was articled to a drysalter. My 
father gave forty pounds premium with me, sir. I can 
show the indent — dent — dentures, sir. But I was bom 
to be a comedian, sir : so I ran away, and listed with the 


players, sir : and I topt my parts at Amersham and 
Garrard's Cross, and played my own father to his face, 
in his own town of Pogis, in tiie part of Gripe, when I 
was not full seventeen years of age ; and he did not 
know me again, but he knew me afterwards ; and then 
he laughed, and I laughed, and, what is better, the 
drysalter laughed, and gave me up my articles for the 
joke's sake : so that I came into court afterwards with 
clean hands — with clean hands — do you see, sir ] 

[Here the manuscript becomes illegible for two or 
three sheets onwarids, which we presume to be occasioned 
by the absence of Mr. Munden, jun., who clearly tran- 
scribed it for the press thus far. The rest (with the 
exception of the concluding paragraph, which is seem- 
ingly resumed in the first handwriting) appears to con- 
tain a confused account of some lawsuit, in which the 
elder Munden was engaged ; with a circumstantial history 
of the proceedings of a case of breach of promise of 
marriage, made to or by (we cannot pick out which) 
Jemima Munden, spinster; probably the comedian's 
cousin, for it does not appear he had any sister ; with a 
few dates, rather better preserved, of this great actor's 
engagements, — as "Cheltenham (spelt Cheltnam), 1776;" 
"Bath, 1779;" "London, 1789;" together with stage 
anecdotes of Messrs. Edwin, Wilson, Lee, Lewis, etc.; 
over which we have strained our eyes to no purpose, in 
the hope of presenting something amusing to the public. 
Towards the end, the manuscript brightens up a little, as 
we said, and concludes in the following manner : — ] 

■stood before them for six and thirty years [we 

suspect that Mr. Munden is here speaking of his final 
leave-taking of the stage], and to be dismissed at last 
But I was heart-whole to the last, sir. What though a 
few drops did course themselves down the old veteran's 
cheeks: who could help it, sir? I was a giant that 
night, sir; and could have played fifty parts, each as 


arduous as Dozy. My faculties were never better, sir. 
But I was to be laid upon the shelf. It did not suit the 
public to laugh with their old servant any longer, sir. 
[Here some moisture has blotted a sentence or two.] 
But I can play Polonius still, sir; I can, I can. Your 
servant, sir, Joseph Muitoen. 


Why aie all faces, like Persians at the snimse^ beat sin^y 
on mine alone ) I was wont to be esteemed an ordinary 
yisnomy, a quotidian merely. Doubtless these assembled 
myriads discern some traits of nobleness, gentiliiy, breed- 
ing, which hitherto have escaped the common observation, 
— some intimations, as it were, of wisdom, valour, piety, 
and so forth. My sight dazzles ; and, if I am not deceived 
by the too-familiar pressure of this strange neckcloth that 
envelopes it, my countenance gives out lambent glories. 
For some painter now to take me in the lucky point of 
expression ! — ^the posture so coiivenient ! — the head never 
shifting, but standing quiescent in a sort of natural frame. 
But these artisans require a westerly aspect. Ketch, 
turn me. 

Something of St. James's air in these my new friends. 
How my prospects shift and brighten! Now, if Sir 
Thomas Lawrence be anywhere in that group, his fortune 
is made for ever. I think I see some one taking out 
a crayon. I will compose my whole face to a smile, 
which yet shall not so predominate but that gravity and 
gaiety shall contend, as it were, — ^you understand me? 
I will work up my thoughts to some mild rapture, — a 
gentle enthusiasm, — which the artist may transfer, in a 
manner, warm to the canvas. I will inwardly apostrophise 
my tabemacla 

Delectable mansion, hail ! House not made of every 
wood ! Lodging that pays no rent ; airy and commodious ; 
which, owing no window-tax, art yet all casement, out of 
which men have such pleasure in peering and overlooking, 
that they will sometimes stand an hour together to eigoy 
thy prospects 1 Cell, recluse from the vulgar ! Quiet 
retirement from the great Babel, yet affording sufficient 
glimpses into it ! Pulpit, that instructs without note or 
sermon-book ; into which the preacher is inducted without 
tenth or first-fruit ! Throne, unshared and single, that 
disdainest a Brentford competitor ! Honour without co- 
rival ! Or hearest thou, rather, magnificent theatre, in 
which the spectator comes to see and to be seen ? From 


thy giddy heights I look down npon the common herd, 
who stand with eyes upturned, as if a winged messenger 
hovered over them 3 and mouths open as if they expected 
manna. I feel, I feel, the true episcopal yearnings. 
Behold in me, my flock, your true overseer! What 
though I cannot lay hands, because my own are laid; 
yet I can mutter benedictions. True otium cum dignitate ! 
Proud Pisgah eminence ! pinnacle sublime ! Pillory ! 
'tis thee I sing ! Thou younger brother to the gallows, 
without his rough and Esau palms, that with ineffable 
contempt surveyest beneath thee the grovelling stocks, 
which claim presumptuously to be of thy great race ! 
Let that low wood know that thou art far higher born. 
Let that domicile for groundling rogues and base earth- 
kissing varlets envy thy preferment, not seldom fated to 
be the wanton baiting-house, the temporary retreat, of 
poet and of patriot. Shades of Bastwick and of Prynne 
. hover over thee, — Defoe is there, and more greatly daring 
Shebbeare, — from their (little more elevated) stations 
they look down with recognitions. Ketch, turn me. 

I now veer to the north. Open your widest gates, 
thou proud Exchange of London, that I may look in as 
proudly I Gresham's wonder, hail ! I stand upon a level 
with sQl your kings. They and I, from equal heights, 
with equal superciliousness, overlook the plodding money- 
hunting tribe below, who, busied in their sordid specula- 
tions, scarce elevate their eyes to notice your ancient, or 
ray recent, grandeur. The second Charles smiles on me 
from three pedestals!^ He closed the Exchequer: I 
cheated the Excise. Equal our darings, equal be our lot. 

Are those the quarters % 'tis their fatal chime. That 

^ A statue of Charles II., by the elder Gibber, adorns the 
front of the Exchange. He stands also on high, in the train 
of his crowned ancestors, in his proper order, itnthin that build- 
ing. But the merchants of London, in a superfetation of loyalty, 
have, within a few years, caused to be erected another efSgy of 
him on the ground in the centre of the interior. "We do not 
hear that a fourth is in contemplation. 


the eTer-winged hours would but stand still ! bat I must 
descend — descend from this dream of greatness. Stay, 
stay, a little while, importunate hour-hand ! A moment 
or two, and I shall walk on foot with the undistinguished 
many. The clock speaks one. I return to common life. 
Ketch, let me out. 


I AM the miserablest man living. Give me counsel, dear 
Editor. I was bred up in the strictest principles of 
honesty, and have passed my life in punctual adherence 
to them. Integrity might be said to be ingrained in our 
family. Yet I live in constant fear of one day coming 
to the gallows. 

Till the latter end of last autumn I never experienced 
these feelings of self-mistrust which ever since have em- 
bittered my existence. From the apprehension of that 
unfortunate man,i whose story began to make so great 
an impression upon the public about that time, I date 
my horrors. I never can get it out of my head that I 
shall some time or other commit a forgery, or do some 
equally vile thing. To make matters worse^ I am in a 
banking-house. I sit surrounded with a cluster of bank- 
notes. These were formerly no more to me than meat 
to a butcher's dog. They are now as toads and aspics. 
I feel all day like one situated amidst gins and pitfalls. 
Sovereigns, which I once took such pleasure in counting 
out j and scraping up with my little tin shovel (at which 
I was the most expert in the banking-house), now scald 
my hands. When I go to sign my name, I set down 
that of another person, or write my own in a counterfeit 
character. I am beset with temptations without motive. 
I want no more wealth than I possess. A more contented 
being than myself, sa to money matters, exists not. What 
should I fear 1 

^ Pauntleroy. 


When a child, I was once let loose, by favour of a 
nobleman's gardener, into his lordship's magnificent fruit- 
garden, with full leave to pull the currants and the goose- 
berries j only I was interdicted from touching the wall- 
fruit. Indeed, at that season (it was the end of autumn), 
there was little left. Only on the south wall (can I for- 
get the hot feel of the brickwork f) lingered the one last 
peach. Now, peaches are a fruit which I always had, 
and still have, an almost utter aversion to. There is 
something to my palate singularly harsh and repulsive in 
the flavour of them. I know not by what demon of 
contradiction inspired, but I was haunted by an irresistible 
desire to pluck it. Tear myself as often as I would from 
the spot, I found myself stiU recurring to it ; till madden- 
ing with desire (desire I cannot call it), with wilfulness 
rather, — without appetite, — against appetite, I may call 
it, — in an evil hour, I reached out my hand and plucked 
it. Some few raindrops just then fell ; the sky (from a 
bright day) became overcast ; and I was a type of our 
first parents, after the eating of that fatal fruit. I felt 
myself naked and ashamed, stripped of my virtue, spirit- 
less. The downy fruit, whose sight rather than savour 
had tempted me, dropped from my hand never to be 
tasted. All the commentators in the world cannot per- 
suade me but that the Hebrew word, in the second 
chapter of Gensis, translated " apple," should be rendered 
" peach." Only this way can I reconcile that mysterious 

Just such a child at thirty am I among the cash and 
valuables, longing to pluck, without an idea of enjoyment 
further. I cannot reason myself out of these fears : I 
dare not laugh at them. I was tenderly and lovingly 
brought up. What then 1 Who that in life's entrance had 

seen the babe F , from the lap stretching out his 

little fond mouth to catch the maternal kiss, could have 
predicted, or as much as imagined, that life's very different 
exit 1 The sight of my own fingers torments me ; they 
seem so admirably constructed for — pilfering. Then that 


jugular vein which I have in common ; in an em- 
phatic sense may I say with David, I am "fearfully 
made." All my miith is poisoned by these unhappy 
suggestions. If, to dissipate reflection, I hum a tune, it 
changes to the " Lamentations of a Sinner." My very 
dreams are tainted. I awake with a shocking feeling of 
my hand in some pocket. 

Advise me, dear Editor, on this painful heart-maJady. 
Tell me, do you feel anything allied to it in yourself 1 
Do you never feel an itching, as it were, — a daciylorrvania, 
— or am I alone ? You have my honest confession. My 
next may appear from Bow Street. 


■Jin" it^^^m^^^^^^^^^^^^^fm^mm^- 


Since writing this article, we have been informed that 
the object of our funeral oration is not definitively dead, 
but only moribund. So much the better : we shall have 
an opportunity of granting the request made to Walter 
by one of the children in the wood, and " kill him two 
times." The Abbd de Vertot having a siege to write, 
and not receiving the materials in time, composed the 
whole from his invention. Shortly after its completion, 
the expected documents arrived, when he threw them 
aside, exclaiming, " You are of no use to me now ; I have 
carried the town." 

Nought but a blank remains, a dead void space, 
A step of life that promised such a race. — ^Drtden. 

Napoleon has now sent us back from the grave 
sufficient echoes of his living renown : the twilight of 
posthumous fame has lingered long enough over the spot 
where the sun of his glory set ; and his name must at 
length repose in the silence, if not in the darkness, of 
night. In this busy and evanescent scene, other spirits 
of the age are rapidly snatched away, claiming our un- 
divided sympathies and regrets, until in turn they yield 
to some newer and more absorbing grief. Another name 
is now added to the list of mighty departed, — a name 
whose influence upon the hopes and fears, the fates and 
fortunes, of our countrymen, has rivalled, and perhaps 
eclipsed, that of the defunct "child and champion of 
Jacobinism," while it is associated with all the sanctions 


of legitimate goveminent, all the sacred authorities of 
social order and our most holy religion. We speak of 
one, indeed, under whose warrant heavy and incessant con- 
tributions were imposed upon our fellow-citizens, but who 
exacted nothing without the signet and the sign-manual 
of most devout Chancellors of the Exchequer. Not to 
dally longer with the sympathies of our readers, we think 
it right to premonish them that we are composing an 
epicedium upon no less distinguished a personage than the 
Lottery, whose last breath, after many penultimate puflFs, 
has been sobbed forth by sorrowing contractors, as if the 
world itself were about to be converted into a blank. 
There is a fashion of eulogy, as weU aa of vituperation ; 
and, though the Lottery stood for some time in the latter 
predicament, we hesitate not to assert that mvltis Ule 
bonis flebilis ocddit Never have we joined in the sense- 
less clamour which condemned the only tax whereto we 
became voluntary contributors, — the only resource which 
gave the stimulus without the danger or infatuations of 
gambling ; the only alembic which in these plodding days 
sublimised our imaginations, and filled them with more 
delicious dreams than ever flitted athwart the sensorium 
of Alnaschar. 

Never can the writer forget, when, as a child, he was 
hoisted upon a servant's shoulder in Guildhall, and looked 
down upon the installed and solemn pomp of the then 
drawing Lottery. The two awfiil cabinets of iron, upon 
whose massy and mysterious portals the royal initials 
were gorgeously emblazoned, as if, after having deposited 
the unftdfiUed prophecies within, the king himself had 
turned the lock, and still retained the key in his pocket ; 
the blue-coat boy, with his naked arm, first converting 
the invisible wheel, and then diving into the dark recess 
for a ticket ; the grave and reverend faces of the com- 
missioners eyeing the announced number; the scribes 
below cahnly committing it to their huge books; the 
anxious countenances of the surrounding populace ; while 
the giant figures of Grog and Magog, like presiding deities, 


looked down with a grim silence upon the whole proceed- 
ing, — constituted altogether a scene, which, combined 
with the sudden wealth supposed to be lavished from 
those inscrutable wheels, was well calculated to impress 
the imagination of a boy with reverence and amazement. 
Jupiter, seated between the two fatal urns of good and 
evil, the blind goddess with her cornucopia, the Parcse 
wielding the distaff, the thread of life, and the abhorred 
shears, seemed but dim and shadowy abstractions of 
mythology, when I had gazed upon an assemblage 
exercising, as I dreamt, a not less eventful power, and 
all presented to me in palpable and living operation. 
Reason and experience, ever at their old spiteful work of 
catching and destroying the bubbles which youth delighted 
to follow, have indeed dissipated much of this illusion ; 
but my mind so far retained the influence of that early 
impression, that I have ever since continued to deposit 
my humble offerings at its shrine, whenever the ministers 
of the Lottery went forth with type and trumpet to 
announce its periodical dispensations ; and though nothing 
has been doled out to me from its undisceming coffers 
but blanks, or those more vexatious tantalisers of the 
spirit denominated small prizes, yet do I hold myself 
largely indebted to this most generous diffuser of universal 
happiness. Ingrates that we are ! are we to be thankful 
for no benefits that are not palpable to sense, to recognise 
no favours that are not of marketable value, to acknow- 
ledge no wealth unless it can be counted with the five 
fingers ? If we admit the mind to be the sole depository 
of genuine joy, where is the bosom that has not been 
elevated into a temporary Elysium by the magic of the 
Lottery ? Which of us has not converted his ticket, or 
even his sixteenth share of one into a nest-egg of Hope, 
upon which he has sate brooding in the secret roosting- 
places of his heart, and hatched it into a thousand 
fantastical apparitions 1 

What a startling revelation of the passions if all the 
aspirations engendered by the Lottery could be made 


manifest ! Many an impecimiaiy epicure has gloated over 
his locked-up warrant for ^ture wealth, as a means of 
realising the dream of his namesake in the "Alchemist:" 

** My meat shall all come in in Indian shells," etc. 

Many a doting lover has kissed the scrap of paper 
whose promissory shower of gold was to give up to him 
his otherwise unattainable Danae : I^imrods have trans- 
formed the same narrow symbol into a saddle, by which 
they have been enabled to bestride the backs of peerless 
hunters ; while nymphs have metamorphosed its Protean 
form into — 

" Rings, gauds, conceits, 
Knacks,, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats," 

and all the braveries of dress, to say nothing of the 
obsequious husband, the two footman'd carriage, and the 
opera box. By the simple charm of this numbered and 
printed rag, gamesters have, for a time at least, recovered 
their losses : spendthrifts have cleared off mortgages from 
their estates ; the imprisoned debtor has leapt over his 
lofty boundary of circumscription and restraint, and 
revelled in all the joys of liberty and fortune; the 
cottage-walls have swelled out into more goodly propor- 
tion than those of Baucis and Philemon; poverty has 
tasted the luxuries of competence ; labour has lolled at 
ease in a perpetual armchair of idleness; sickness has 
been bribed into banishment ; life has been invested with 
new charms ; and death deprived of its former terrors. 
Nor have the aflfections been less gratified than the wants, 
appetites, and ambitions of mankind. By the coigurations 
of the same potent spell, kindred have lavished anticipated 
benefits upon one another, and charity upon alL Let it 
be termed a delusion, — a fool's paradise is better than 
the wise man's Tartarus ; be it branded as an ignis-fatuus, 
— it was at least a benevolent one, which, instead of 
beguiling its followers into swamps, caverns, and pitfalls, 
allured them on with aU the blandishments of enchant- 


ment to a garden of Eden, — ^an ever-blooming Elysium of 
delight. True, the pleasures it bestowed were evanes- 
cent : but which of our joys are permanent ? and who so 
inexperienced as not to know that anticipation is always 
of higher relish than reality, which strikes a balance both 
in our sufferings and enjoyments 1 "The fear of ill 
exceeds the ill we fear;" and fruition, in the same pro- 
portion, invariably falls short of hope. " Men are but 
children of a larger growth," who may amuse themselves 
for a long time in gazing at the reflection of the moon in 
the water ; but, if they jump in to grasp it, they may 
grope for ever, and only get the farther from their object. 
He is the wisest who keeps feeding upon the future, and 
refrains a^ long a& possible from undeceiving himself by 
converting his pleasant speculations into disagreeable 

The true mental epicure always purchased his ticket 
early, and postponed inqidry into its fate to the last 
possible moment, during the whole of which intervening 
period he had an imaginary twenty thousand locked up 
in his desk : and was not this well worth all the money 1 
Who would scruple to give twenty pounds interest for even 
the ideal enjoyment of as many thousands during two or 
three months 1 Crede guod kdbesy et hahes ; and the 
usufruct of such a capital is surely not dear at such a 
price. Some years ago, a gentleman in passing along 
Cheapside saw the figures 1069, of which number he was 
the sole proprietor, flaming on the window of a lottery- 
office as a capital prize. Somewhat flurried by this 
discovery, not less welcome than unexpected, he resolved 
to walk round St. Paul's that he might consider in what 
way to communicate the happy tidings to his wife and 
family ; but, upon re-passing the shop he observed that 
the number was altered to 10,069, and, upon inquiry, 
had the mortification to learn that his ticket was a blank, 
and had only been stuck up in the window by a mistake 
of the clerk. This effectually calmed his agitation ; but he 
always speaks of himself as having once possessed twenty 


thousand pounds, and maintains that his ten -minutes' 
walk round St. Paul's was worth ten times the purchase- 
money of the ticket. A prize thus obtained has, more- 
over, this special advantage, — it is beyond the reach of 
fate; it cannot be squandered; bankruptcy cannot lay 
siege to it ; friends cannot pull it down, nor enemies blow 
it up ; it bears a charmed life, and none of woman bom 
can break its integrity, even by the dissipation of a 
single fraction. Show me the property in these perilous 
times, that is equally compact and impregnable. We 
can no longer become enriched for a quarter of an hour ; 
we can no longer succeed in such splendid failures ; all 
our chances of making such a miss have vanished with 
the last of the Lotteries. 

Life will now become a flat, prosaic routine of matter- 
of-fact ; and sleep itself erst so prolific of numerical con- 
figurations and mysterious stimulants to lottery adventure, 
will be disfumished of its figures and figments. People 
will cease to harp upon the one lucky number suggested 
in a dream, and which forms the exception, while they are 
scrupulously silent upon the ten thousand falsified dreams 
which constitute the rule. Morpheus will stifle Cocker 
with a handful of poppies, and our pillows will be no 
longer haunted by the book of numbers. 

And who, too, shall maintain the art and mystery of 
puffing, in all its pristine glory, when the lottery pro- 
fessors shall have abandoned its cultivation ? They were 
the first, as they will assuredly be the last, who fiilly 
developed the resources of that ingenious art ; who cajoled 
and decoyed the most suspicious and wary reader into a 
perusal of their advertisements by devices of endless 
variety and cunning ; who baited their lurking schemes 
with midnight murders, ghost-stories, crim-cons, bon-mots, 
balloons, dreadful catastrophies, and every diversity of joy 
and sorrow, to catch newspaper -gudgeons. Ought not 
such talents to be encouraged 1 Verily the abolitionists 
have much to answer for ! 

And now, having established the felicity of all those 


who gained imaginary prizes, let us proceed to show that 
the equally numerous class who were presented with real 
blanks have not less reason to consider themselves happy. 
Most of us have cause to be thankful for that which is 
bestowed ! but we have all, probably, reason to be still 
more gratefol for that which is withheld, and more 
especially for our being denied the sudden possession of 
riches. In the Litany, indeed, we call upon the Lord to 
deliver us "in all time of our wealth;" but how few of 
us are sincere in deprecating such a calamity ! Massinger's 
Luke, and Ben Jonson's Sir Epicure Mammon, and Pope's 
Sir Balaam, and our own daily observation, might con- 
vince us that the Devil " now tempts by making rich, not 
making poor." We may read in the Guardixin a circum- 
stantial account of a man who was utterly ruined by 
gaining a capital prize; we may recoUect what Dr. 
Johnson said to Garrick, when the latter was making a 
display of his wealth at Hampton Court — " Ah, David, 
David ! these are the things that make a death -bed 
terrible ;" we may recall the Scripture declaration, as to 
the difficulty a rich man finds in entering the kingdom of 
Heaven ; and, combining all these denimciations against 
opulence, let us heartily congratulate one another upon 
our lucky escape from the calamity of a twenty or thirty 
thousand pound prize ! The fox in the fable, who accused 
the unattainable grapes of sourness, was more of a philo- 
sopher than we are generally wilHng to allow. He was 
an adept in that species of moral alchemy which turns 
everything to gold, and converts disappointment itself 
into a ground of resignation and content. Such we have 
shown to be the great lesson inculcated by the Lottery, 
when rightly contemplated ; and, if we might parody 
M. de Chateaubriand's jingling expression, — " Le Roi est 
mort : vive le Roi /" — ^we should be tempted to exclaim, 
" The Lottery is no more : long live the Lottery !" 


The world has hitherto so little troubled its head upon 
the points of doctrine held by a community which con- 
tributes in other ways so largely to its amusement, that, 
before the late mischance of a celebrated tragic actor, it 
scarce condescended to look into the practice of any 
individual player, much less to inquire into the hidden 
and abscondite springs of his actions. Indeed, it is with 
some violence to the imagination that we conceive of an 
actor as belonging to the relations of private life, so 
closely do we identify these persons in our mind with 
the characters which they assume upon the stage. How 
oddly does it sound, when we are told that the late Miss 
Pope, for instance, — that is to say, in our notion of her 
Mtb, Candour^ — ^was a good daughter, an affectionate 
sister, and exemplary in all the parts of domestic life ! 
With still greater (ifficulty can we carry our notions to 
church, and conceive of Listen kneeling upon a hassock, or 
Munden uttering a pious ejaculation, — '^ making mouths 
at the invisible event." But the times are fast improv- 
ing; and, if the process of sanctity begun under the 
happy auspices of the present licencer go on to its com- 
pletion, it will be as necessary for a comedian to give 
an account of his faith as of his conduct. Fawcett must 
study the five points ; and Dicky Suett, if he were alive, 
would have to rub up his catechism. Already the effects 
of it begin to appear. A celebrated performer has thought 
fit to oblige the world with a confession of his faith, — or 

Br 's Rdigix> Dramatici. This gentleman, in his 

laudable attempt to shift fi'om his person the obloquy of 


Judaism, with a forwardness of a new convert, in trying 
to prove too much, has, in the opinion of many, proved 
too little. A simple declaration of his Christianity was 
sufficient ; but, strange to say, his apology has not a word 
about it. We are left to gather it from some expressions 
which imply that he is a Protestant; but we did not 
wish to inquire into the niceties of his orthodoxy. To 
his friends of the old persuasion the distinction was 
impertinent ; for what cares Eabbi Ben Kimchi for the 
differences which have split our novelty 1 To the great 
body of Christians that holds the Pope's supremacy — 
that is to say, to the m^jor part of the Christian world 
— ^his religion will appear as much to seek as ever. But 
perhaps he conceived that all Christians are Protestants, 
as children and the common people call all, that are not 
animals. Christians. The mistake was not very consider- 
able in so young a proselyte, or he might think the 
general (as logicians speak) involved in the particular. 
All Protestants are Christians ; but I am a Protestant ; 
ergo, etc. : as if a marmoset, contending to be a man, 
overleaping that term as too generic and vulgar, should 
at once roundly proclaim himself to be a gentleman. 
The argument would be, as we say, exdbundanti. From 
whichever course this excessus in terminis proceeded, we 
can do no less than congratulate the general state of 
Christendom upon the accession of so extraordinary a 
convert. Who was the happy instrument of the conver- 
sion, we are yet to learn : it comes nearest to the attempt 
of the late pious Dr. Watts to Christianise the Psalms 
of the Old Testament. Something of the old Hebrew 
raciness is lost in the transfusion ; but much of its 
asperity is softened and pared down in the adaptation. 

The appearance of so singular a treatise at this con- 
juncture has set us upon an inquiry into the present state 
of religion upon the stage generally. By the favour of 
the Churchwardens of St. Martin's in the Fields, and St. 
Paul's, Covent Garden, who have very readily, and with 
great kindness, assisted our pursuit, we are enabled to lay 


before the public the following particulars. Strictly 
speaking, neither of the two great bodies is collectively a 
religious institutioa We expected to find a chaplain 
among them, as at St. Stephen's and other Court estab- 
lishments; and were the more surprised at the omission, 
as the last Mr. Bengough at the one house, and Mr. 
Powell at the other, firom a gravity of speech and demean- 
our, and the habit -of wearing black at their first appear- 
ances in the beginning of \h!d fifth or the conclusion of the 
fourth act, so eminently pointed out their qualifications 
for such office. These corporations, then, being not 
properly congregational, we must seek the solution of our 
question in the tastes, attainments, accidental breeding, 
and education of the individual members of them. As 
we were prepared to expect, a m«yority at both houses 
adhere to the religion of the Church Established, — only 
that at one of them a strong leaven of Roman Catholicism 
is suspected ; which, considering the notorious education 
of the manager at a foreign seminary, is not so much to 
be wondered at. Some have gone so far as to report that 

Mr. T y, in particular, belongs to an order lately 

restored on the Continent. We can contradict this : that 
gentleman is a member of the Kirk of Scotland : and his 
name is to be found, much to his honour, in the list of 
seceders from the congregation of Mr. Fletcher. While 
the generality, as we have said, are content to jog on in 
the safe trammels of national orthodoxy, symptoms of a 
sectarian spirit have broken out in quarters where we 
should least have looked for it. Some of the ladies at 

both houses are deep in controverted points. Miss F e, 

we are credibly informed, is a Suh- and Madame V 

a /S't^joro-Lapsarian. Mr. Pope is the last of the exploded 
sect of the Ranters. Mr. Sinclair has joined the Shakers. 
Mr. Grimaldi sen., after being long a Jumper, has lately 
fallen into some whimsical theories respecting the fall of 
man ; which he understands, not of an allegorical, but a 
real tumblej by which the whole body of humanity became, 
as it were, lame to the performance of good works. Pride 


he will have to be nothing but a stiff neck ; irresolution, 
the nerves shaken; an inclination to sinister paths, 
crookedness of the joints ; spiritual deadness, a paralysis ; 
want of charity, a contraction in the fingers ; despising of 
goyemment, a broken head ; the plaster, a sermon ; the 
lint to bind it up, the text ; the probers, the preachers ; 
a pair of crutches, the old and new law; a bandage, 
religious obligation : a fauciful mode of illustration, 
derived from the accidents and habits of his past calling 
spiritualuedy rather than from any accurate acquaintance 
with the Hebrew text, in which report speaks him but a 
raw scholar. Mr. EUiston, from all we can learn, has 
his religion yet to choose; though some think him a 


Rummaging over the contents of an old stall at a half 
600^, half old-dron skopy in an alley leading from Wardour 
Street to Soho Square, yesterday, I lit upon a ragged 
duodecimo which had been the strange delight of my 
infancy, and which I had lost sight of for more than 
forty years, — the " Queen-like Closet, or Rich Cabinet ;" 
written by Hannah Woolly, and printed for R. C. and T. 
S., 1681 ; being an abstract of receipts in cookery, con- 
fectionery, cosmetics, needlework, morality, and all such 
branches of what were then considered as female accom- 
plishments. The price demanded was sixpence, which 
the owner (a little squab duodecimo character himself) 
enforced with the assurance that his " own mother should 
not have it for a farthing less/' On iny demurring at 
this extraordinary assertion, the dirty little vendor rein- 
forced his assertion with a sort of oath, which seemed 
more than the occasion demanded : " And now," said he, 
" I have put my soul to it." Pressed by so solemn an 
asseveration, I could no longer resist a demand which 
seemed to set me, however unworthy, upon a level with 
its dearest relations ; and depositing a tester, I bore away 
the tattered prize in triumph. I remember a gorgeous 
description of the twelve months of the year, which I 
thought would be a fine substitute for those poetical 
descriptions of them which your " Every Day Book " had 
nearly exhausted out of Spenser. This will be a treat, 
thought I, for fiiend Hone. To memory they seemed 
no less fantastic and splendid than the other. But what 


are the mistakes of childhood ! On reviewing them, they 
turned out to be only a set of commonplace receipts for 
■working the seasons, months, heathen gods and goddesses, 
etc., in samplers/ Yet, as an instance of the homely 
occupation of our great grandmothers, they may be 
amusing to some readers. " I have seen," says the notable 
Hannah Woolly, " such Eidiculous things done in work, 
as it is an abomination to any Artist to behold. As for 
example : You may find, in some Pieces, Abraham and 
SaraJi, and many other Persons of Old time. Clothed as 
they go nowadays, and truly sometimes worse ; for they 
most resemble the Pictures on Ballads. Let all Ingenious 
Women have regard, that when they work any Image, to 
represent it aright. First, let it be Drawn well, and then 
observe the Directions which are given by Knowing Men. 
I do assure you, I never durst work any Scripture Story 
without informing myself from the Ground of it; nor any 
other Story, or single Person without informing myself 
both of the Visage and Habit ; as followeth : — 

" If your work Jupiter, the Imperial feigned God, he 
must have long. Black Curled hair, a Purple Grarment 
trimmed with Gold, and sitting upon a golden throne, 
with bright yellow Clouds about him." 


March, Is drawn in Tawny, with a fietce aspect ; a 
Helmet upon his head, and leaning on a Spade ; and a 
Basket of Garden-Seeds in his left hand, and in his Right 
hand the sign of Aries ; and Winged. 

ApriL A young Man in Green, with a Garland of 
Mjrrtle and Hawthorn-buds ; Winged ; in one hand Prim- 
roses and Violets, in the other the Sign Taurus, 

May. With a Sweet and lovely Countenance : clad 
in a Robe of White and Green, embroidered with several 
Flowers; upon his Head a garland of all manner of 
roses; on the one hand a Nightingale, in the other a 
Lute. His sign must be Gemini, 

June. In a Mantle of dark Grass -green ; upon his 


Head a garland of Bents, Kings-cups, and Maiden-hair ; 
in his Left hand an Angle, with a box of Cantharides ; in 
his Right, the Sign Cancer ; and upon his arms a Basket 
of seasonable Fruits. 

Jrdy, In a Jacket of light Yellow, eating Cherries ; 
with his Face and Bosom Sun -burnt ! on his Head a 
wreath of Centaury and wild Thyme; a Scythe on his 
shoulder, and a bottle at his girdle ; carrying the Sign 

August, A Yoimg Man of fierce and Choleric aspect, 
in a Flame-coloured garment ; upon his head a garland of 
Wheat and Rye ; upon his Arm a Basket of all manner 
of ripe Fruits ; at his Belt a Sickle ; his Sign Virgo, 

September. A merry and cheerful Countenance, in 
a Purple Robe; upon his Head a Wreath of red and 
white Grapes ; in his Left hand a handful of Oats ; withal 
carrying a Horn of Plenty, full of all manner of ripe 
Fruits ; in his right hand the sign Libra. 

October. In a Garment of Yellow and Carnation ; 
upon . his head a garland of Oak-leaves with Acorns ; in 
his right hand the sign Scorpio; in his Left hand a 
Basket of Medlars, Services, and Chestnuts, and any 
other Fruits then in Season. 

Nofvefmber, In a Garment of Changeable Green and 
Black; upon his Head a garland of Olives, with the 
Fruit in his Left hand ; Bunches of Parsnips and Turnips 
in his Right ; his Sign Sagittarius. 

December. A horrid and fearful aspect, clad in Irish 
rags, or coarse frieze girt unto him ; upon his Head three 
or four Night-Caps, and over them a Turkish Turban ; his 
Nose red, his Mouth and Beard clogged with icicles ; at 
his back a bundle of holly, i^T", or mistletoe ; holding in 
furred mittens the sign of Capricornua. . 

January. Clad all in White, as the Earth looks with 
the Snow, blowing his nails ; in his left arm a billet ; the 
sign Aqtiaritis standing by his side. 

February. Clothed in a dark Sky-colour, carrying in 
his Right hand the sign Pisces. 


The following receipt " To dress up a chimney very 
fine for the summer-time, as I have done many, and they 
have been liked very well," may not be unprofitable to 
the housewives of this century : — 

" First, take a pack-thread, and fasten it even to the 
inner part of the Chimney, so high as that you can see 
no higher as you walk up and down the House. You 
must drive in several Nails to hold up all your work. 
Then get good store of old green Moss from Trees, and 
melt an equal proportion of beeswax and rosin together ; 
and, while it is hot, dip the wrong ends of the moss in 
it, and presently clap it upon your pack-thread, and press 
it down hard with your hand. You must make haste, 
else it will cool before you can fasten it, and. then it will 
fall down. Do so all around where the packthread goes ; 
and the next row you must join to that, so that it may 
seem all in one : thus do till you have finished it down 
to the bottom. Then take some other kind of Moss, of 
a whitish colour and stiff, and of several sorts or kinds, 
and place that upon the other, here and there carelessly, 
and in some places put a good deal, and some a little ; 
then any kind of fine snail-shells, in which the snails are 
dead, and little toad-stools, which are very old, and look 
like velvet, or any other thing that was old and pretty : 
place it here and there as your fancy serves, and fasten 
all with Wax and Rosin. Then, for the hearth of your 
chimney, you may lay some Orpan- Sprigs in order all 
over, and it will grow as it lies ; and, according to the 
season, get what flowers you can, and stick in as if they 
grew, and a few sprigs of Sweet-Brier ; the flowers you 
must renew every week ; but the moss will last all the 
Summer, till it will be time to make a fire; and the 
orpan will last near two Months. A Chimney thus done 
doth grace a Room exceedingly." 

One phrase in the above should particularly recommend 
it to such of your female readers as, in the nice language 
of the day, have done growing some time, — " little toad- 


stook, etc., and anything that is old and pretty ^ Was 
ever antiquity so smoothed over ? The culinary recipes 
have nothing remarkable in them, except .the costliness 
of them. Everything (to the meanest meats) is sopped 
in claret, steeped in claret, basted with claret, as if claret 
were as cheap as ditch-water. I remember Bacon recom- 
mends opening a turf or two in your garden walks, and 
pouring into each a bottle of claret, to recreate the sense 
of smelling, being no less grateful than beneficial. We 
hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will attend to this 
in his next reduction of French wines, that we may once 
more water our gardens with right Bourdeaux. The 
medical recipes are as whimsical as they are cruel. Our 
ancestors were not at all effeminate on this head. Modem 
sentimentalists would shrink at a cock plucked and 
bruised in a mortar alive to make a cullis, or a live mole 
baked in an oven {be sure it he alive) to make a powder 
for consumption. But the whimsicaJest of all are the 
directions to servants (for this little book is a compendiimi 
of all duties) : the footman is seriously admonished not 
to stand lolHng against his master's chair while he waits 
at table ; for " to lean on a chair when they wait, is a 
particular favour shown to any superior servant, as the 
chief gentleman, or the waiting-woman when she rises 
from the table." Also he must not "hold the plates 
before his mouth to be defiled with his breath, nor touch 
them on the right [inner] side." Surely Swift must have 
seen this little treatise. 


To your account of Sir Jeffeiy Dunstan, in columns 
829-30 (where, by an unfortunate erratum, the effigies 
of two Sir J^en/s appear, when the uppermost figure is 
clearly meant for Sir Harry Dimsdale), you may add that 
the writer of this has frequently met him in his latter 
days, about 1790 or 1791, returning in an evening, after 
his long day's itineracy, to his domicile, — a wretched shed 
in the most beggarly purlieu of Bethual Green, a little 
on this side the Mile-end Turnpike. The lower figure in 
that leaf most correctly describes his then appearance, 
except that no graphic art can convey an idea of the 
general squalour of it, and of his bag (his constant con- 
comitant) in particular. Whether it contained "old 
wigs " at that time, I know not ; but it seemed a fitter 
repository for bones snatched out of kennels than for any 
part of a gentleman's dress, even at second-hand. 

The Ex-member for Garrat was a melancholy instance 
of a great man whose popularity is worn out. He still 
carried his sack: but it seemed a part of his identity 
rather than an ii^plement of his proLsion ; a badge of 
past grandeur : could anything have divested him of that, 
he would have shown a " poor forked animal " indeed. 
My life upon it, it contained no curls at the time I speak 
of. The most decayed and spiritless remnants of what 
was once a peruke would have scorned the filthy case ; 
would absolutely have " burst its cerements." No : it 


was empty, or brought home bones, or a few cinders, 
possibly. A strong odour of burnt bones, I remember, 
blended with the scent of horse-flesh seething into dog's 
meat, and only relieyed a little by the breathings of a 
few brick-kilns, made up the atmosphere of the delicate 
suburban spot which this great man had chosen for the 
last scene of his earthly vanities. The cry of " old wigs" 
had ceased with the possession of any such fripperies : 
his sack might have contained not unaptly a little mould 
to scatter upon that grave to which he was now advanc- 
ing ; but it told of vacancy and desolation. His quips 
were silent too, and his brain was empty as his sack : he 
slank along, and seemed to decline popular observation. 
If a few boys followed him, it seemed rather from habit 
than any expectation of fun. 

Alas ! how changed from ^m, 
The life of humour, and the soul of whim, 
Gallant and gay on Garrat's hustings proud ! 

But it is thus that the world rewards its favourites in 
decay. What faults he had, I know not. I have heard 
something of a peccadillo or so. But some little deviation 
from the precise line of rectitude might have been winked 
at in so tortuous and stigmatic a frama Poor Sir Jeffery ! 
it were well if some M.P.'s in earnest had passed their 
parliamentary existence with no more offences against 
integrity than could be laid to thy charge ! A fair dis- 
missal was thy due, not so unkind a degradation ; some 
little snug retreat, with a bit of green before thine eyes, 
and not a burial alive in the fetid beggaries of Bethnal. 
Thou wouldst have ended thy days in a manner more 
appropriate to thy pristine dignity, installed in munificent 
mockery (as in mock honours you had lived), — a poor 
Knight of Windsor ! 

Every distinct place of public speaking demands an 
oratory peculiar to itself. The forensic fails within the 
walls of St. Stephen. Sir Jeffery was a living instance 
of this ; for, in the flower of his popularity, an attempt 


was made to bring him out upon the stage (at which of 
the winter theatres I forget, but I well remember the 
anecdote) in the part of Doctor Last. The announcement 
drew a crowded house; but, notwithstanding infinite 
tutoring, — ^by Foote or Gkirrick, I forget which, — when 
the curtain drew up, the heart of Sir Jefifery failed, and 
he faltered on, and made nothing of his part, till the 
hisses of the house at last, in very kindness, dismissed 
him from the boards. Great as his parliamentary elo- 
quence had shown itself, brilliantly as his off-hand sallies 
had sparkled on a hustings, they here totally failed him. 
Perhaps he had an aversion to borrowed wit, and, like 
my Lord Foppington, disdained to entertain himself (or 
others) with the forced products of another man's brain. 
Your man of quality is more diverted with the natural 
sprouts of his own. 


(To the EdUor of Honeys Every-Day Booh.) 

Dear Sir, — I read your account of this unfortunate 
being, and his forlorn piece of self-history, with that smile 
of half-interest which the Annals of Insignificance excite, 
till I came to where he says, " I was bound apprentice 
to Mr. William Bird, an eminent writer, and teacher of 
languages and mathematics," etc.; when I started as one 
does on the recognition of an old acquaintance in a supposed 
stranger. This, then, was that Starkey of whom I have 
heard my sister relate so many pleasing anecdotes ; and 
whom, never having seen, I yet seem almost to remember. 
For nearly fifty years, she had lost all sight of him ; and, 
behold 1 the gentle Usher of her youth, grown into an 
aged Beggar, dubbed with an opprobrious title to which 
he had no pretensions ; an object and a May-game ! To 
what base purposes may we not return! What may 
not have been the meek creature's sufferings, — ^what his 
wanderings,— before he finally settled down in the com- 
parative comfort of an old Hospitaller of the Almonry of 
Newcastle 1 And is poor Starkey dead ? — 

I was a scholar of that "eminent writer" that he 
speaks of ; but Starkey had quitted the school about a 
year before I came to it. Still the odour of his merits 
had left a firagrancy upon the recollection of the elder 
pupils. The schoolroom stands where it did, looking into 
a discoloured, dingy garden in the passage leading from 
Fetter Lane into Bartlett's Buildings. It is still a school, 
though the main prop, alas ! has fallen so ingloriously ; 



and bears a Latin inscription over the entrance in the 
lane, which was unknown in our humbler times. Heaven 
knows what " languages " were taught in it then ! I 
am sure that neither my sister nor myself brought any 
out of it, but a little of our native English. By " mathe- 
matics," reader, must be understood "ciphering." It 
was, in fact, a humble day-school, at which reading and 
writing were taught to us boys in the morning ; and the 
same slender erudition was conmiunicated to the girls, 
our sisters, etc., in the evening. Now, Starkey presided, 
under Bird, over both establishments. In my time, Mr. 
Cook, now or lately a respectable singer and performer 
at Drury Lane Theatre, and nephew to Mr. Bird, had 
succeeded to Imn. I well remember Bird. He was a 
squat, corpulent, middle-sized man, with something of 
the gentleman about him, and that peculiar mild tone — 
especially while he was inflicting punishment — ^which is so 
much more terrible to children than the angriest looks and 
gestures. Whippings were not frequent ; but, when they 
took place, the correction was performed in a private 
room acljoiiungy where we could only hear the plaints, but 
saw nothing. This heightened the decorum and the 
solemnity. But the ordinary chastisement was the bas- 
tinado, a stroke or two on the palm with that almost 
obsolete weapon now, — the ferule. A ferule was a sort 
of flat ruler, widened, at the inflicting end, into a shape 
resembling a pear, — but nothing like so sweet, with a 
delectable hole in the middle to raise blisters, like a 
cupping-glass. I have an intense recollection of that 
disused instrument of torture, and the malignancy, in 
proportion to the apparent mildness, with which its 
strokes were applied. The idea of a rod is accompanied 
with something ludicrous ; but by no process can I look 
back upon this blister-raiser with anything but unmingled 
horror. To make him look more formidable, — ^if a 
pedagogue had need of these heightenings, — Bird wore 
one of those flowered Indian gowns formerly in use with 
schoolmasters, the strange figures upon which we used 


to interpret into hierogljrphics of pain and suffering. Bat, 
boyish fears apart, Bird, I believe, was, in the main, a 
humane and judicious master. 

Oh, how I remember our legs wedged into those un- 
comfortable sloping desks, where we sat elbowing each 
other ; and the injunctions to attain a fi*ee hand, unattain- 
able in that position ; the first copy I wrote after, with 
its moral lesson, '^ Art improves Nature ;" the still earlier 
pot-hooks and the hangers, some traces of which I fear 
may yet be apparent in this manuscript ; the truant looks 
side-long to the garden, which seemed a mockery of our 
imprisonment; the prize for best spelling which had 
almost turned my head, and which, to this day, I cannot 
reflect upon without a vanity, which I ought to be ashamed 
of; our little leaden inkstands, not separately subsisting, 
but sunk into the desks ; the bright, punctually-washed 
morning fingers, darkening gradually with another and 
another ink-spot ! What a world of little associated cir- 
cumstances, pains, and pleasures, mingling their quotas 
of pleasure, arise at the reading of those few simple 
words, — "Mr. William Bird, an eminent writer, and 
teacher of languages and mathematics, in Fetter Lane, 

Poor Starkey, when young, had that peculiar stamp 
of old-fafihionedness in his face which makes it impossible 
for a beholder to predicate any particular age in the object. 
You can scarce make a guess between seventeen and 
seven -and -thirty. This antique cast always seems to 
promise ill-luck and penury. Yet it seems he was not 
always the abject thing he came to. My sister, who 
well remembers him, can hardly forgive Mr. Thomas 
Banson for making an etching so unlike her idea of him 
when he was a youthful teacher at Mr. Bird's school. Old 
age and poverty — a life-long poverty, she thinks — could 
at no time have so effaced the marks of native gentility 
which were once so visible in a face otherwise strikingly 
ugly, thin, and care-worn. From her recollections of 
him, she thinks that he would have wanted bread before 


he would have begged or borrowed a halfjienny. "If 
any of the girls," she says, " who were my school-fellows, 
should be reading, through their aged spectacles, tidings 
from the dead, of their youthful friend Starkey, they will 
feel a pang, as I do, at having teased his gentle spirit." 
They were big girls, it seems — ^too old to attend his in- 
structions with the silence necessary ; and, however old 
age and a long state of beggary seems to have reduced 
his writing faculties to a state of imbecility, in those 
days his language occasionally rose to the bold and figur- 
ative ; for, when he was in despair to stop their chatter- 
ing, his ordinary phrase was, " Ladies, if you will not 
hold your peace, not all the powers in heaven can make 
you." Once he was missing for a day or two : he had 
run away. A little old unhappy-looking man brought 
him back, — it was his father, — and he did no business in 
the school that day, but sat moping in a comer, with his 
hands before his face ; and the girls, his tormentors, in 
pity for his case, for the rest of that day forbore to annoy 
him. " I had been there but a few months," adds she, 
" when Starkey, who was the chief instructor of us girls, 
communicated to us a profound secret, — that the tragedy 
of Gaio was shortly to be acted by the elder boys, and 
that we were to be invited to the representation." That 
Starkey lent a helping hand in fashioning the actors, she 
remembers ; and, but for his unfortunate person, he might 
have had some distinguished part in the scene to enact. 
As it was, he had the arduous task of prompter assigned 
to him, and his feeble voice was heard clear and distinct, 
repeating the text during the whole performance. She 
describes her recollection of the cast of characters, even 
now, with a relish. Martia^ by the handsome Edgar 
Hickman, who afterwards went to Africa, and of whom 
she never afterwards heard tidings; Lucia, by Master 
Walker, whose sister was her particular friend : Cato, by 
John Hunter, a masterly declaimer, but a plain boy, and 
shorter by the head than his two sons in the scene, etc. 
In conclusion, Starkey appears to have been one of those 


mild spirits, which, not originally deficient in understand- 
ing, are crushed by penury into dejection and feebleness. 
He might have proved a useful adjunct, if not an ornament, 
to society, if Fortune had taken him into a very little 
fostering; but, wanting that, he became a captain, — a 
byword, — and lived and died a broken bulrush. 


Mk. Collier, in his " Poetical Decameron " (Third Con- 
versation), notices a tract printed in 1595, with the 
author's initials only, A.B., entitled " The Noblenesse of 
the Asse ; a work rare^ learned, and excellent." He has 
selected the following pretty passage from it : "He (the 
ass) refuseth no burden : he goes whither he is sent, 
without any contradiction. He lifts not his foote against 
any one ; he bytes not ; he is no fugitive, nor malicious 
afifected. He doth all things in good sort, and to his 
liking that hath cause to employ him. If strokes be 
given him, he cares not for them ; and, as our modem 
poet singeth,— 

** * Thou wouldst (perhaps) he should become thy foe, 
And to that end dost beat him many times : 
He cares not for himselfe, much less thy blow.' " ^ 

Certainly Nature, foreseeing the cruel usage which 
this useful servant to man should receive at man's hand, 
did prudently in furnishing him with a tegument imper- 
vious to ordinary stripes. The malice of a child or a 
weak hand can make feeble impressions on him. His 
back offers no mark to a puny foeman. To a common 
whip or switch his hide presents an absolute insensibility. 
You might as well pretend to scourge a schoolboy with 
a tough pair of leather breeches on. His jerkin is weU 

^ Who this modem poet was, says Mr. C — , is a secret worth 
discovering. The woodcut on the title of the Pamphlet is — an Ass 
with a wreath of laurel round his neck. 

THE ASS. 299 

fortified ; and therefore the costennongers, " between the 
years 1790 and 1800," did more politicly than piously in 
lifting up a paxt of his upper garment. I well remember 
that beastly and bloody custom. I have often longed to 
see one of those refiners in discipline himself at the cart's 
tail, with just such a convenient spot laid bare to the 
tender mercies of the whipster. But, since Nature has 
resumed her rights, it is to be hoped that this patient 
creature does not suffer to extremities ; and that, to the 
savages who still belabour his poor carcass with their 
blows (considering the sort of anvil they are laid upon), 
he might in some sort, if he could speak, exclaim with 
the philosopher, " Lay on : you beat but upon the case 
of Anaxarchus." 

Contemplating this natural safeguard, this fortified 
exterior, it is with pain I view the sleek, foppish, combed, 
and curried person of this animal as he is disnaturalised 
at watering-places, etc., where they affect to make a 
palfi-ey of him. Fie on aU such sophistications ! It will 
never do, Master Groom. Something of his honest, shaggy 
exterior will still peep up in spite of you, — his good, 
rough, native, pine-apple coating. You cannot "refine 
a scorpion into a fish, though you rinse it and scour it 
with ever so cleanly cookery." ^ 

The modem poet quoted by A.B. proceeds to celebrate 
a virtue for which no one to this day had been aware 
that the ass was remarkable : — 

" One other gift this beast hath as his owne, 
Wherewith the rest could not be furnished ; 
On man himself the same was not bestowne : 
To wit, — on him is ne'er engenderM 
The hateful vermine that doth teare the skin, 
And to the bode [body] doth make his passage in." 

And truly, when one thinks on the suit of impenetrable 
"armour with which Nature (like Vulcan to another 
Achilles) has provided him, these subtle enemies to (mr 
repose would have shown some dexterity in getting into 

* Milton from memory. 

300 THE ASS. 

Mb quarters. As the bogs of Ireland by tradition expel 
toads and reptiles, he may well defy these small deer 
in his fastnesses. It seems the latter had not arrived 
at the exquisite policy adopted by the human vermin 
"between 1790 and 1800." 

But the most singular and delightful gift of the Ass, 
according to the writer of this pamphlet, is his voice, 
the "goodly, sweet, and continual brayings" of which, 
"whereof they forme a melodious and proportionable 
kinde of musicke," seem to have affected him with no 
ordinary pleasure. " Nor thinke I," he adds, " that any 
of our immoderate musicians can deny but that their 
song is fiill of exceeding pleasure to be heard ; because 
therein is to be discerned both concord, discord, singing 
in the meane, the beginning to sing in large compasse, 
then following into rise and fall, the halfe-note, whole 
note, musicke of five voices, firme singing by four voices, 
three together, or one voice and a halfe. Then their 
variable' contrarities amongst them, when one delivers 
forth a long tenor or a short, the pausing for time, 
breathing in measure, breaking the minim or very least 
moment of time. Last of aU, to heare the musicke of 
five or six voices chaunged to so many of asses is amongst 
them to heare a song of world without end.'' 

There is no accounting for ears, or for that laudable 
enthusiasm with which an author is tempted to invest a 
favourite subject with the most incompatible perfections : 
I should otherwise, for my own taste, have been inclined 
rather to have given a place to these extraordinary 
musicians at that banquet of nothing-less-than-sweet- 
sounds, imagined by old Jeremy Collier (Essays, 1698, 
part ii on Music), where, after describing the inspiriting 
effects of martial music in a battle, he hazards an ingeni- 
ous coiyecture, whether a sort of anti-music might not be 
invented, which should have quite the contrary effect of 
"sinking the spirits, shaking the nerves, curdling the 
blood, and inspiring despair and cowardice and consterna- 
tion. 'Tis probable," he says, " the roaring of lions, the 

THE ASS. 301 

warbling of cats and screech-owls, together with a mixture 
of the howling of dogs, judiciously imitated and com- 
pounded, might go a great way in this invention." The 
dose, we confess, is pretty potent, and skOfuUy enough 
prepared. But what shall we say to the Ass of Silenus, 
who, if we may trust to classic lore, by his own proper 
sounds, without thanks to cat or screech-owl, dismayed 
and put to rout a whole army of giants ? Here was anti- 
music with a vengeance ; a whole PanrDis-Harmcmicon 
in a single lungs of leather ! 

But I keep you trifling too long on this Asinine 
subject. I have already passed the Pons Asinorum, and 
wiU desist, remembering the old pedantic p\m of Jem 
Boyer, my schoolmaster, — 

^'Ass in prcesenti seldom makes a wise man in 


What is gone with the Cages with the climbiDg 
Squirrel, and bells to them, which were formerly the 
indispensable appendage to the outside of a tinman's 
shop, and were, in fact, the only Live Signs 1 One, we 
believe, still hangs out on Holbom; l)ut they are fast 
vanishing with tiie good old modes of our ancestors. 
They seem to have been superseded by that still more 
ingenious refinement of modem humanity, — the tread- 
mill; in which human squirrels still perform a similar 
round of ceaseless, unprogressive clambering, which must 
be nuts to them. 

We almost doubt the fact of the teeth of this creature 
being so purely orange- coloured as Mr. Urban's corre- 
spondent gives out. One of our old poets — and they 
were pretty sharp observers of Nature — describes them 
as brown. But perhaps the naturalist referred to meant 
"of the colour of a Maltese Orange,"^ which is rather 
more obfuscated than your fruit of Seville or St Michael's, 
and may help to reconcile the difference. We cannot 
speak &om observation ; but we remember at school 
getting our fingers into the orangery of one of these little 

1 Fletcher in the " Faithful Shepherdess." The satyr offers to 
Olorin — 

" Grapes whose lusty blood 
Is the learned poet's good, — 
Sweeter yet did never crown 
The head of Bacchus ; nuts more brown 
Than the squirrels' teeth that crack them." 


gentry (not haying a due caution of the traps set there), 
and the result proved sourer than lemons. The author 
of the " Task " somewhere speaks of their anger as being 
"insignificantly fierce;" but we found the demonstration 
of it on this occasion quite as significant as we desired, 
and have not been disposed since to look any of these 
" gift horses '' in the mouth. Maiden aunts keep these 
"small deer," as they do parrots, to bite people's fingers, 
on purpose to give them good advice " not to adventure 
so near the cage another time." As for their "six 
quavers divided into three quavers and a dotted crotchet," 
I suppose they may go into Jeremy Bentham's next 
budget of fallacies, along with the " melodious and pro- 
portionable kinde of musicke" recorded, in your last 
number, of another highly-gifted animal. 


It has happened not seldom that one work of some 
author has so transcendently surpassed in execution the 
rest of his compositions, that the world has agreed to pass 
a sentence of dismissal upon the latter, and to consign 
them to total neglect and oblivion. It has done wisely 
in this not to suffer the contemplation of excellences of 
a lower standard to abate or stand in the way of the 
pleasure it has agreed to receive from the masterpiece. 

Again : it has happened, that from no inferior merit 
of execution in the rest, but from superior good fortune 
in the choice of its subject, some single work shall have 
been suffered to eclipse and cast into shade the deserts of 
its less fortunate brethren. This has been done with 
more or less injustice in the case of the popular allegory 
of Bunyan, in which the beautiful and scriptural image 
of a pilgrim or wayfarer (we are all such upon earth), 
addressing itself intelligibly and feelingly to the bosoms 
of all, has silenced, and made almost to be forgotten, the 
more awful and scarcely less tender beauties of the " Holy 
War made by Shaddai upon Diabolus," of the same author, 
— a romance less happy in its subject, but surely well 
worthy of a secondary inmiortality. But in no instance 
has this excluding partiality been exerted with more 
unfairness than against what may be termed the secondary 
novels or romances of Defoe. 

While all ages and descriptions of people hang delighted 
over the "Adventures of Robinson Crusoe," and shall 
continue to do so, we trust while the world lasts, how 


few comparatively will bear to be told that there exist 
other fictitious narratives by the same writer, — four of 
them at least of no inferior interest, except what results 
from a less felicitous choice of situation ! '' Eoxana,'' 
" Singleton," " MoU Flanders," " Colonel Jack," are all 
genuine o£^pring of the same father. They bear the 
veritable impress of Defoe. An unpractised midwife that 
would not swear to the nose, lip, forehead, and eye of 
every one of them ! They are, in their way, as full of 
incident, and some of them every bit as romantic ; only 
they want the uninhabited island, and the charm that 
has bewitched the world, of the striking soHtary situation. 

But are there no solitudes out of the cave and the 
desert ? or cannot the heart in the midst of crowds feel 
frightfully alone? Singleton on the world of waters, 
prowling about with pirates less merciful than the creatures 
of any howling wilderness,— is he not alone, with ihe 
faces of men about him, but without a guide that can 
conduct him through the mists of educational and habitual 
ignorance, or a fellow-heart that can interpret to him the 
new-born yearnings and aspirations of unpractised peni- 
tence ? Or when the boy Colonel Jack, in the loneliness 
of the heart (the worst solitude), goes to hide his ill- 
purchased treasure in the hollow tree by night, and 
miraculously loses, and miraculously finds it again, — 
whom hath he there to sympathise with him ? or of what 
sort are his associates 1 

The narrative manner of Defoe has a naturalness about 
it beyond that of any other novel or romance writer. His 
fictions have all the air of true stories. It is impossible 
to believe, while you are reading them, that a real person 
is not narrating to you everywhere nothing but what 
really happened to himself. To this the extreme homeli- 
ness of their style mainly contributes. We use the word 
in its best and heartiest sense, — that which comes home 
to the reader. The narrators everywhere are chosen from 
low life, or have had their origin in it : therefore they tell 
their own tales (Mr. Coleridge has anticipated us in this 


306 defoe's secondary novels. 

remark), as persons in their degree are observed to do, 
with infinite repetition, and an overacted exactness, lest 
the hearer should not have minded, or have forgotten, 
some things that had been told before. Hence the 
emphatic sentences marked in the good old (but deserted) 
Italic type ; and hence, too, the frequent interposition of 
the reminding old colloquial parenthesis, "I say," "Mind," 
and the like, when the story-teller repeats what, to a 
practised reader, might appear to have been sufficiently 
insisted upon before: which made an ingenious critic 
observe, that his works, in this kind, were excellent read- 
ing for the kitchen. And, in truth, the heroes and heroines 
of Defoe can never again hope to be popular with a much 
higher class of readers than that of the servant-maid or 
the sailor. Crusoe keeps its rank only by tough prescrip- 
tion. Singleton, the pirate; Colonel Jack, the thief; 
Moll Flanders, both thief and harlot ; Roxana, harlot and 
something worse, — ^would be startling ingredients in the 
bill of fare of modem literary delicacies. But, then, 
what pirates, what thieves, and what harlots, are ^ thief, 
the harloty and the pirate of Defoe ! We would not hesi- 
tate to say, that in no other book of fiction, where the 
lives of such characters are described, is guilt and delin- 
quency made less seductive, or the suffering made more 
closely to follow the commission, or the penitence more 
earnest or more bleeding, or the intervening flashes of 
religious visitation upon the rude and uninstructed soul 
more meltingly and fearfully painted. They, in this, come 
near to the tenderness of Bunyan; while the livelier 
pictures and incidents in them, as in Hogarth or in Field- 
ing, tend to diminish the fastidiousness to the concerns 
and pursuits of common life which an unrestrained passion 
for the ideal and the sentimental is in danger of producing. 


What Apelles was to the Grecian Alexander, the same 
to the Ruadan was the late G — D — . None but 
Apelles might attempt the lineaments of the world's con- 
queror ; none but our Academician could have done justice 
to the lines of the Czar and his courtiers. There they 
hang, the labour of ten plodding years, in an endless 
gallery, erected for the nonce, in the heart of Imperial 
Petersburgh — eternal monuments of barbarian taste sub- 
mitted to half civilised cunning — four hundred fierce 
Half-Lengths, all male, and all military ; like the pit in 
a French theatre, or the characters in Timon as it was 
last acted, with never a woman among them. Chaste 
sitters to Vandyke, models of grace and womanhood ; and 
thou Dame Venetia Digby, fairest among thy fair compeers 
at Windsor, hide your pure pale cheeks, and cool English 
beauties, before this suffocating horde of Scythian riflers, 
this male chaos 1 Your cold oaken frames shall wane 
before the gorgeous gildings. 

With Tartar faces throng'd, and horrent uniforms. 

One emperor contended for the monopoly of the ancient; 
two were competitors at once for the pencil of the modem 
ApeUes, The Russian carried it against the Haytian by 
a single length. And if fate, as it was at one time nearly 
arranged, had wafted D. to the shores of Hayti — with 
the same complacency, in his art, with which he persisted 


in daubing in, day after day, bis frozen Muscovites, he 
would have sate down for life to smutch in upon canvas 
the faces of blubber-lipped sultanas, or the whole male 
retinue of the dingy court of Ohristophe. For in truth 
a choice of subjects was the least of D/s care. A Goddess 
from Cnidus, or from the Caf&e coast, was equal to him j 
Lot or Lot's wife ; the charming widow H., or her late 

My acquaintance with D. was in the outset of his 
art, when the graving tools, rather than the pencil, ad- 
ministered to his humble wants. Those implements, as 
is well known, are not the most favourable to the culti- 
vation of that virtue, which is esteemed next to godliness. 
He might " wash his hands in innocency," and so meta- 
phorically "approach an altar;" but his material puds 
were anything but fit to be carried to church. By an 
ingrained economy in soap — ^if it was not for pictorial 
effect rather — he would wash (on Sundays) the inner 
oval, or portrait, as it may be termed, of his countenance, 
leaving the unwashed temples to form a natural black 
frame round the picture, in which a dead white was the 
predominant colour. This, with the addition of green 
spectacles made necessary by the impairment, which his 
graving labours by day and night (for he was ordinarily 
at them for sixteen hours out of the twenty-four) had 
brought upon his visual faculties, gave him a singular 
appearance, when he took the air abroad; insomuch, 
that I have seen a crowd of young men and boys follow- 
ing him along Oxford Street with admiration not without 
shouts ; even as the Youth of Rome, we read in Vasari, 
followed the steps of Raphael with acclamations for his 
genius, and for his beau^, when he proceeded from his 
workshop to chat with Cardinals and Popes at the 

The family of D. were not at this time in affluent 
circumstances. His father, a clever artist, had outlived 
the style of art in which he excelled most of his contem- 
poraries. He, with the father of the celebrated Morland, 


worked for the shop of Camngton and Bowles, which 
exists still for the poorer sort of caricatures, on the north 
side of St. Paul's Church Yard. They did clever things 
in colours. At an inn in Beading a screen is still pre- 
served, full of their labours; but the separate portions 
of either artist are now undistinguishable. I remember 
a Mother teaching her Child to read (B. Barton has a 
copy of it) ; a Laundress washing ; a young Quaker, a 
beautiful subject. But the flower of their forgotten pro- 
ductions hangs still at a public-house on the left hand, 
as thou arrivest, reader, from the now Highgate archway, 
at the foot of the descent where Crouch End begins, on 
thy road to green Homsey. Turn in, and look at it, for 
the sight is well worth a cup of excusatory cyder. In 
the parlour to the right you will find it — an antiquated 
subject — a damsel sitting at her breakfast table in a 
gown of the flowered chintz of our grandmothers, with a 
tea-service before her of the same pattern. The effect 
is most delicate. Why have these harmonies — these 
agrhnens — ^no place in the works of modem art % 

With such niceties in his calling D. did not much 
trouble his head, but, after an ineffectual experiment to 
reconcile his eye-sight with his occupation, boldly quitted 
it, and dashed into the beaten road of common -place 
portraiture in oil The Hopners, and the Lawrences, 
were his Vandykes, and his Velasquezes ; and if he could 
make anything like them, he insured himself immortality. 
With such guides he struggled on through laborious 
nights and days, till he reached the eminence he aimed 
at — of mediocriiy. Having gained that summit, he sate 
down contented. If the features were but cognosdble, 
no matter whether the flesh resembled flesh, or oil-skin. 
For the thousand tints — the grains — ^which in life diversify 
the nose, the chin, the cheek-^which a Reynolds can but 
coarsely counterfeit — he cared nothing at all about them. 
He leA such scrupulosities to opticians and anatomists. 
If the features were but there, the character of course 
could not be far offl A lucky hit which he made in 


painting the very drt^ of a dressy lady — Mrs. W — e — , 
whose handsome countenance also, and tall elegance of 
shape, were too palpable entirely to escape under any 
masque of oil, with which even D. could overlay them — 
brought to him at once an influx of sitters, which almost 
rivalled the importunate calls upon Sir Thomas. A 
portrait he did, soon after, of the Princess Charlotte, 
clenched his fame. He proceeded Academician. At 
that memorable conjuncture of time it pleased the Allied 
Sovereigns to visit England. 

I called upon D. to congratulate him upon a crisis 
so doubly eventful. His pleasant housekeeper seemed 
embarrassed; owned that her master was alone. But 
could he be spoken with? With some importunity I 
prevailed upon her to usher me into his painting-room. 
It was in Newman Street. At his easel stood D., with 
an immense spread of canvas before him, and by his side 
a — live goose. I inquired into this extraordinary com- 
bination. Under the rose he informed me, that he had 
undertaken to paint a transparency for yaT:udiall, against 
an expected visit of the Allied Sovereigns to that place. 
I smiled at an engagement so derogatory to his new-bom 
honours ; but a contempt t>f small gains was never one 
of D.'s foibles. My eyes beheld crude forms of warriors, 
kings, rising under his brush upon this interminable 
stretch of cloth. The Wolga, the Don, and the Nieper, 
were there, or their representative Eiver Gods; and 
Father Thames clubbed urns with the Vistula. Glory 
with her dazzling eagle was not absent, nor Fame, nor 
Victory. The shade of Rubens might have evoked the 
mighty allegories. But what was the Goose % He was 
evidently dtting for a something. 

D. at last informed me, that having fixed upon a 
group of rivers, he could not introduce the Royal Thames 
without his swans. That he had inquired the price of 
a live swan, and it being more than he was prepared to 
give for it, he had bargained with the poulterer for the 
neoct thmg to it; adding significantly, that it would do 


to roast, after it had served its turn to paint swans by. 
Reader, this is a true story. 

So entirely devoid of imagination, or any feeling for 
his high art, was this Fainter^ that for the few historical 
pictures he attempted, any sitter might sit for any char- 
acter. He took once for a subject The Infant Hercules, 
Did he choose for a model some robust antique ? !N'o. 
He did not even pilfer from Sir Joshua, who was nearer 
to his own size. But from a shcm he hired to sit to him 
a child in years indeed (though no Infant), but in fact a 
precocious Man, or human portent, that was disgustingly 
exhibiting at that period ; a thing to be strangled. From 
this he formed his In£Euit Hercules. In a scriptural flight 
he next attempted a Samson in the lap of Dalilah. A 
Dalilah of some sort was procurable for love or money, 
but who should stand for the Jewish Hercules 1 He 
hired a tolerably stout porter, with a thickish head of 
hair, curling in yellowish locks, but lithe — much like a 
wig. And these were the robust strengths of Samson. 

I once was a witness to 9k family scene in his painting 
closet, which I had entered rather abruptly, and but for 
his encouragement, should as hastily have retreated. He 
stood with displeased looks eyeing a female relative — 
whom I had known under happier auspices — that was 
kneeling at his feet with a baby in her arms, with her 
eyes uplifted and suppliant. Though I could have pre- 
viously sworn to the virtue of Miss , yet casual slips 

have been known. There are such things as families 
disgraced, where least you would heve expected it The 

child might be ; I had heard of no wedding — I 

was the last person to pry into family secrets — ^when D. 
relieved my uneasy cogitations by explaining, that the 
innocent, good-humoured creature before me (such as she 
ever was, and is now that she is married) with a baby 
borrowed from a public-house, was acting Andromache to 
his Ulysses, for the purpose of transferring upon canvas 
a tender sitoation from the Troades of Seneca. 

On a subsequent occasion I knocked at D.'s door. I 


had chanced to have been in a dreamy humour previously. 
T am not one that often poetises, but I had been musing 
— cozcombically enough in the heart of Newman Street, 
Oxford Boad — upon Pindus, and the Aonian Maids. The 
Lover of Daphne was in my mind — ^when, answering to 
my summons, the door opened, and there stood before me, 
laurel-crowned, the God himseli^ unshorn Apollo. I was 
beginning to mutter apologies to the Celestial Presence-^ 
when on the thumb of the right hand of the Delian (his 
left held the harp) I spied a palette, such as painters 
carry, which immediately reconcdled me to the whimsical 
transformation of my old acquaintance — with his own 
face, certainly any other than Grecianesque — into a 
temporary image of the oracle-giver of Delphos. To 
have impersonated the Ithacan was little : he had been 
just sitting for a God. — It would be no incurious inquiry 
to ascertain what the minimum of the faculty of imagina- 
tion, ever supposed essential to painters along with poets, 
is, that, in these days of complaints of want of patronage 

towards the fine arts, suffices to dub a man a B 1 

A n. 

Not only had D. no imagination to guide him in the 
treatment of such subjects, but he had no relish for high 
art in the productions of the great masters. He turned 
away from them as from something foreign and irrelative 
to him, and his calling. He knew he had neither part 
nor portion in them. Cozen him into the Stafford or 
the Angerstein Gallery, he involuntarily turned away 
from the Baths of Diana — ^the Four Ages of Guercino — 
the Lazarus of Piombo — to some pretty piece of Trvodem 
art that had been inconsistently thrust into the collection 
through favour. On that he would dwell and pore, blind 
as the dead to the delicacies that surrounded him. There 
he might learn something. There he might pilfer a little. 
There was no grappling with Titian or Angelo. 

The narrowness of his domestic habits to the very 
last, was the consequence of his hard bringing up, and 
unexpected emergence into opulence. While roUhig up 


to the ears in Busaian roubles, a penny was still in his 
eyes the same important thing, which it had with some 
reason seemed to be, when a few shillings were his daily 
earnings. When he visited England a short time before 
his death, he reminded an artist of a commission, which 
he had executed for him in Russia, the package of which 
wafi " still unpaid." At this time he was not unreafion- 
ably supposed to have realised a sum little short of half 
a million sterling. What became of it was never known ; 
what gulf, or what Arctic vorctgo^ sucked it in, his 
acquaintance in those parts have better means of guess- 
ing, than his countrymen. It is certain that few of the 
latter were anything the better for it. 

It wafl before he expatriated himself, but subsequently 
to his acquisition of pictorial honours in this country, 
that he brought home two of his brother Academicians 
to dine with him. He had given no orders extraordinary 
to his housekeeper. He trusted, as he always did, to her 
providing. She was a shrewd lass, and knew, as we say, 
a bit of her master's mind. 

It had happened that on the day before, D. passing 
near Clare Market by one of those open shambles, where 
tripe and cow-heel are exposed for sale, his eye was 
arrested by the sight of some tempting flesh roUed up. 
It is a part of the intestines of some animal, which my 
ol&ctory sensibilities never permitted me to stay long 
enough to inquire the name of. D. marked the curious 
involutions of the unacquainted luxury ; the harmony of 
its colours — a scMe vert — pleased his eye ; and, warmed 
with the prospect of a new flavour, for a few farthings he 
bore it off in triumph to his housekeeper. * It so happened 
that his day's dinner was provided, so the cooking of the 
novelty was for that time necessarily suspended. 

Next day cama The hour of dinner approached. His 
visitors, with no very romantic anticipations, expected a 
plain meal at least ; they were prepared for no new 
dainties ; when, to the astonishment of them, and almost 
of D. himself, the purchase of the preceding day was 



served up piping hot — ^the cook declaring, that she did 
not know well what it was, for "her master always 
marketed." His gaests were not so happy in their 
ignorance. They kept dogs. 

I will do D. the justice to say, that on such occasions 
he took what happened in the best humour possible. He 
had no false modesty — ^though I have generally observed, 
that persons, who are quite deficient in that mauvaise 
konte, are seldon over-troubled with the quality itself, of 
which it is the counterfeit. 

By what arts, with his pretensions, D. contrived to 
wriggle himself into a seat in the Academy, I am not 
acquainted enough with the intrigues of that body (more 
involved than those of an Italian conclave) to pronounce. 
It is certain, that neither for love to him, nor out of any 
respects to his talents, did they elect him. Individually 
he was obnoxious to them alL I have heard that, in his 
passion for attaining this object, he went so far as to go 
down upon his knees to some of the members, whom he 
thought least favourable, and beg their suffirage with 
many tears. 

But death, which extends the measure of a man's 
stature to appearance ; and wealth, which men worship 
in life and death, which makes giants of punies, and 
enbalms insignificance ; called around the exequies of this 
pigmy Painter the rank, the riches, the fashion of the 
world. By Academic hands his pall was borne ; by the 
carriages of nobles of the land, and of ambassadors from 
foreign powers, his bier was followed ; and St. PauFs 
(0 worthy casket for the shrine of such a Zeuxis) now 



{To the Editor of the Every-Day Boole,) 

Sib — I am the youngest of Three hundred and sixty-six 
brethren — there are no fewer of us — who have the honour, 
in the words of the good old song, to call the Sun our 
Dad. You have done the rest of our family the favour 
of bestowing an especial compliment upon each member 
of it individually — I mean as far as you have gone : for 
it will take you some time before you can make your bow 
all round — and I have no reason to think it is your inten- 
tion to neglect any of us but poor Me. Some you have 
hung round with flowers ; others you have made fine with 
martyrs' palms and saintly garlands. The most insignifi- 
cant of us you have sent away pleased with some fitting 
apologue or pertinent story. What have I done that you 
dismiss me without mark or attribute 1 What though I 
make my public appearance seldomer than the rest of my 
brethren? I thought that angels' visits had been ac- 
counted the more precious for their very rarity. Eeserve 
was always looked upon as dignified. I am seen but 
once for four times that my brethren obtrude themselves ; 
making their presence cheap and contemptible in com- 
parison with the state which I keep. 

Am I not a Day (when I do come) to all purposes, as 
much as any of them. Decompose me, anatomise me ; 
you will find that I am constituted like the rest. Divide 
me into twenty-four, and you will find that I cut up into 
as many goodly hours (or main limbs) as the rest. I too 


have my arteries and pulses, which are the minutes and 
the seconds. 

It is hard to be dis-familied thus, like Cinderella in her 
rags and ashes, while her sisters flaunted it about in 
cherry-coloured ribbons and favours. My brethren, for- 
sooth, are to be dubbed ; one Saint Day ; another Pope 
Day ; a third Bishop Day ; the least of them is Squire 
Day, or Mr, Day, while I am — plain Day. Our house, 
Sir, is a very ancient one, and the least of us is too proud 
to put up with an indignity. What though I am but a 
younger brother in some sense — ^for the youngest of my 
brethren is by some thousand years my senior — yet I 
bid fair to inherit as long as any of them, while I have 
the Calendar to show; which, you must understand, is 
our Title Deeds. 

Not content with slurring me over with a bare and 
naked acknowledgment of my occasional visitation in 
prose, you have done your best to deprive me of my 
verse honours. In column 310 of your Book, you quote 
an antique scroll, leaving out the last couplet, as if on 
purpose to affront me. " Thirty days hath September " 
— so you transcribe very faithfully for four fines, and 
most invidiously suppress the exceptive clause : — 

" Except in Leap Year, that's the time 
When February's days hath twenty and ." 

I need not set down the rhyme which should follow ; I 
dare say you know it very well, though you were pleased 
to leave it out. These indignities demand reparation. 
While you have time it will be well for you to make the 
amende honorable. Ransack your stories, learned Sir, 
I pray of you, for some attribute, biographical, anec- 
dotical, or floral, to invest me with. Did nobody die, 
or nobody flourish — ^was nobody bom — ^upon any of my 
periodical visits to this globe 1 Does the world stand 
still as often as I vouchsafe to appear % Am I a blank 
in the Almanac % Alms for oblivion % If you don't find 
a flower at least to grace me with (a Forget-Me-Not 


would cheer me in my present obscurity), I shall prove 
the worst day to you you ever saw in your life : and your 
work, instead of the title it now vaimts, must be content 
(every foiuiih year at least) to go by the lame appellation 
of, The Every-Day-but-one-Book. 

Yours, as you treat me. 

Twenty-ninth op February. 


{To the Editor of the Every -Day Book.) 

Sir — I am a poor wronged Day, I appeal to you as the 
general patron of the family of the Days. The candour 
with which you attended to the expostulations of a poor 
relative of ours — a sort of cousin thrice removed ^ — en- 
courages me to hope that you will listen to the complaint 
of a Day of rather more consequence. I am the Day^ 
Sir, upon which it pleased the course of Nature that your 
Gracious Sovereign should be bom. As such, before his 
accession, I was always observed and honoured. But 
since that happy event, in which. naturally none had a 
greater interest than myself, a flaw has been discovered 
in my title. My lustre has been eclipsed, and — to use 
the words of one of your own poets — 

" I fade into the light of common 2)ay /" 

It seems that about that time an Impostor crept into 
Court, who has the effrontery to usurp my honours, and 
to style herself the King^s Birthday ^ upon some shallow 
pretence, that, being St, Georgia Day, she must needs 
be King George^ a Day also. All Saints^ Day we have 
heard of, and All Sords^ Day we are willing to admit ; 
but does it follow that this foolish TwerUy-third of April 
must be All George^ Day, and enjoy a monopoly of the 
whole name, from Greorge of Cappadocia to George of 
Leyden, and from George-a-Green down to George Dyer 1 

1 Twenty-ninth day of February. 


It looks a little oddly that I was discarded not long 
after the discussions of a set of men and measures, with 
whom I have nothing in common. I hope no whisperer 
has insinuated into the ears of Eoyalty, as if I were any- 
thing whiggishly inclined, which, in my heart I abhor, 
all these kinds of Revolutions, by which I am sure to be 
the greatest sufferer. 

I wonder my shameless rival can have the face to let 
the Tower and Park guns proclaim so many big thunder- 
ing fibs as they do upon her Anniversary — making your 
Sovereign to be older than he really is by an hundred 
and odd days, which is no great compliment, one would 
think. Consider if this precedent for ante-dating of 
Births should become general, what confusion it must 
make in the Parish Registers; what crowds of young 
heirs we should have coming of age before they are one- 
and-twenty, with nimiberless similar grievances. If these 
chops and changes are suffered, we shall have Ltyi'd 
Maycyt^s Day eating her custard unauthentically in May^ 
and Gruy Faux preposterously blazing twice over in the 
Dog Days, 

I humbly submit that it is not within the prerogatives 
of Royalty itself to be bom twice over. We have read 
of the supposititious births of princes, but where are the 
evidences of this first birth 1 Why are not the nurses 
in attendance, the midwife, etc., produced? — the silly 
story has not so much as a Warming-pan to support it. 

My legal advisers, to comfort me, teU me that I have 
the right on my side ; I am the true Birth-i>ay, and the 
other Day is only kept. But what consolation is this to 
me, as long as this nsMghty-kept^creaiure keeps me out 
of my dues and privileges } 

Pray take my unfortunate case into your considera- 
tion, and see that I am restored to my lawful Rejoicings, 
Firings, Bon-firings, Illuminations, etc. 

And your Petitioner shall ever pray. 

Twelfth Day of August, 


Then Mrs. Gilpin sweetly said 

Unto her children three, 
** I'll clamber o'er this stile so high, 

And you'll climb after me." 
But having climbed unto the top, 

She conld no further go : 
But sate to every passer by 

A spectacle and show : 
Who said " Your spouse and you this day 

Will show your horsemanship ; 
And if you stay till he comes back, 

Your horse will need no whip. " 

The sketch here engraved (probably from the poet's 
friend, Homney), was found with the above three stanzas 
in the handwriting of Cowper, among the papers of the 
late Mrs. Unwin. It is to be regretted that no more 
was found of this little JEpisode, as it evidently was 
intended to be, in the "Diverting History of Johnny 
Gilpin." It is to be supposed that Mrs. GUpin, in the 
interval between dinner and tea, finding the time to 
hang upon her hands, during her husband's involuntary 
excursion, rambled out with the children into the fields 
at the back of the Bell (as what could be more natural 1) ; 
and at one of these high awkward stiles, for which 
Edmonton is so proverbially famed, the embarrassment 
represented, so myBtifying to a substantial City madam, 
might have happened ; a predicament which leaves her 
in a state which is the very Antipodes to that of her 
too-locomotive husband. In fact, she rides a restive 
horse. Now I talk of Edmonton stiles, I must speak a 


little about those of Enfield, its next neighbour, which 
are so ingeniously contrived — every rising bar to the top 
becoming more protuberant than the one imder it — that 
it is impossible for any Christian cUmber to get over 
without bruising his (or her) shins as many times sa 
there are bars. These inhospitable invitations to a flayed 
skin are planted so thickly too, and are so troublesomely 
importunate at every little paddock here, that this, with 
more propriety than Thebes of old, might be entitled 
Hecatompolis : the Town of the Hundred Gates or Stiles. 

A Sojourner at Enfield. 

July 16, 1827. 


There is a Saturday night — I speak not to the admirers 
of Bums — erotically or theologically considered; his of 
the " Cotter's " may be a very charming picture, granting 
it to be but half true. Nor speak I now of the Saturday 
Night at Sea, which Dibdin hath dressed up with a gusto 
more poignant to the mere nautical palate of un-Calvinised 
South Britons. Nor that it is marketing night with the 
pretty tripping senrant-maids all over London, who with 
judicious and economic eye, select the white and well- 
blown fillet, that the blue-aproned contunder of the calf 
can safely reconmiend as " prime veal," and which they 
are to be sure not to over-brown on the morrow. Nor 
speak I of the hard-handed Artisan, who on this night 
receives the pittance which is to furnish the neat Sab- 
batical dinner — ^not always reserved with Judaical rigour 
for that laudable purpose, but broken in upon, perchance, 
by inviting pot of ale, satisfactory to the present orifice. 
These are alleviatory, care - consoling. But the Heb- 
domadal Finale which I contemplate hath neither comfort 
nor^ aUeviation in it j I pronounce it, from memory, 
altogether punitive, and to be abhorred. It is — Saturday 
Night to the School-boy ! 

Cleanliness, saith some sage man, is next to Godliness. 
It may be ; but how it came to sit so very near, is the 
marvel. Methinks some of the more human virtues 
might have put in for a place before it. Justice — 
Humanity — Temperance — are positive qualities; the 
courtesies and little civil offices of life, had I been Master 


of the Ceremonies to that Court, should have sate above 
the salt in preference to a mere negation. I confess there 
is something wonderfully refreshing, in warm countries, 
in the act of ablution. Those Mahometan washings — 
how cool to the imagination ! but in all these supersti- 
tions, the action itself, if not the duty, is voluntary. But 
to be washed perforce ; to have a detestable flannel rag 
soaked in hot water, and redolent of the very coarsest 
coarse soap, ingrained with hard beads for torment, thrust 
into your mouth, eyes, nostrils — positively Burking you, 
under pretence of cleansing — substituting soap for dirt, 
the worst dirt of the two — making your poor red eyes 
smart all night, that they might look out brighter on 
the Sabbath mom (for their clearness was the effect of 
pain more than cleanliness), could this be true religion ? 

The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. I am 
always disposed to add, so are those of Grandmothers. 
Mine — the Print has made her look rather too young — 
had never-failing pretexts of tormenting children for their 
good. I was a chit then ; and I well remember when a 
fly had got into a comer of my eye, and I was complain- 
ing of it to her, the old lady deliberately pounded two 
ounces or more of the finest loaf sugar that could be got, 
and making me hold open the eye as wide as I could 
(all innocent of her purpose), she blew from delicate white 
paper, with a full breath, the whole saccharine contents 
into the part afflicted, saying, " There, — now the fly is 
out!" 'Twas most true: a legion of blue-bottles, with 
the prince of flies at their head, must have dislodged 
with the torrent and deluge of tears which followed. I 
kept my own counsel, and my fly in my eye when I had 
got one, in future, without troubling her dulcet applica- 
tions for the remedy. Then her medicine case was a 
perfect magazine of tortures for infants. She seemed to 
have no notion of the comparatively tender drenches 
which young intemals require : her potions were any- 
thing but milk for babes. Then her sewing up of a cut 
finger — pricking a whitloe before it was ripe, because she 


could not see well, with the aggravation of the pitying 
tone she did it in ! 

But of all her nostrums (rest her soul !), nothing came 
up to the Saturday Night's flannel, that rude fragment 
of a Witney blanket (Wales spins none so coarse), thrust 
into the comers of a weak child's eye with soap that 
might have absterged an Ethiop, whitened the hands of 
Duncan's She-murderer, and scoured away Original Sin 
itself. A faint image of my penance you see in the 
Print — ^but the Artist has sunk the flannel — the Age, 
I suppose, is too nice to bear it: and he has faintly 
shadowed the expostulatory suspension of the razor-strap 
in the hand of my Grandfather, when my pains and 
clamours had waxed intolerable. Peace to the Shades of 
them both ! And if their well-meaning souls had need 
of cleansing when they quitted earth, may the process of 
it have been milder than that of my old Purgatorial 
Saturday Night's path to the Sabbatical rest of the 
morrow ! Nepos. 


" We love to have our friend in the country sitting thus 
at our table hy proxy ; to apprehend his presence (though 
a hundred miles may be between us) by a turkey, whose 
goodly aspect reflects to us his * plump corpusculum ;' to 
taste him in grouse or woodcock; to feel him gliding 
down in the toast peculiar to the latter ; to concorporate 
him in a slice of Canterbury brawn. This is indeed to 
have him within ourselves; to know him intimately; 
such participation is methinks unitive, as the old theo- 
logians phrase it" — Last Essays of Mia. 

^'Elia presents his acknowledgments to his ^Corres- 
pondent Unknown/ for a basket of prodigiously fine 
game. He takes for granted that so amiable a character 
must be a reader of the AtheTUBum, else he had meditated 
a notice in the Times, Now if this friend had consulted 
the Delphic oracle for a present suited to the palate of 
Elia, he could not have hit upon a morsel so acceptable. 
The birds he is barely thankful for ; pheasants are poor 
fowls disguised in fine feathers ; but a hare roasted hard 
and brown, with gravy and melted butter! — Old Mr. 
Chambers, the sensible clergyman in Warwickshire, whose 
son's acquaintance has made many hours happy in the 
life of Elia, used to allow a pound of Epping to every 
hare. Perhaps that was over-doing it. But, in spite of 
the note of Philomel, who, like some fine poets, that 
think no scorn to adopt plagiarisms from an humble 
brother, reiterates every Spring her cuckoo cry of * Jug, 
Jug, Jug,' Elia pronounces that a hare, to be truly 


palated, must be roasted. Jugging sophisticates her. 
In onr way it eats so 'crips,' as Mrs. Minikin says. 
Time was, when Elia was not arrived at his taste, that 
he preferred to all luxuries a roasted pig. But he dis- 
claims all such green-sickness appetites in future, though 
he hath to acknowledge the receipt of many a delicacy 
in that kind from correspondents — ^good, but mistaken 
men — ^in consequence of tiieir erroneous supposition that 
he had carried up into mature life the prepossessions of 
childhood. Prom the worthy Vicar of Enfield he acknow- 
ledges a tithe contribution of extraordinary sapor. The 
ancients must have loved hares; else why adopt the 
word leporea (obviously from lepus) but for some subtle 
analogy between the delicate flavour of the latter and 
the finer relishes of wit in what we most poorly translate 
pleamntries. The fine madnesses of the poet are the 
very decoction of his diet. Thence is he hare-brained. 
Harum-scarum is a libellous unfoimded phrase, of modem 
usage. 'Tis true the hare is the most circumspect of 
animals, sleeping with her eye open. Her ears, ever 
erect, keep them in that wholesome exercise which con- 
duces them to form the very tit-bit of the admirers of 
this noble animal. Koble will I call her, in spite of her 
detractors, who from occasional demonstrations of the 
principle of self-preservation (common to all animab), 
infer in her a defect of heroism. Half a hundred horse- 
men, with thrice the number of dogs, scour the country 
in pursuit of puss across three counties; and because 
the well-flavoured beast, weighing the odds, is willing to 
evade the hue and cry (with her delicate ears shrinking 
perchance from discord), comes the grave naturalist, 
Linnaeus perchance, or Buffbn, and gravely sets down 
the hare as a timid animal Why Achilles, or Bully 
Dawson, would have declined the preposterous combat. 

" In fact, how light of digestion we feel after a hare ! 
How tender its processes after swallowing ! What chyle 
it promotes ! How ethereal ! as if its living celerity were 
a type of its nimble coursing through the animal juices. 


The notice might' be longer. It is intended less as a 
!N'atural History of the Hare than a cursory thanks to 
the country *good Unknown.' The hare has many 
Mends, but none sincerer than £lia.." 

Nov, 80, 1884. 


After a careful perusal of the most approved works that 
treat of nobility, and of its origin in these realms in 
particular, we are left very much in the dark as to the 
original patent in which this branch of it is recognised. 
Neither Camden in his "Etymologic and Original of 
Barons," nor Dugdale in his "Baronage of England," 
nor Selden (a more exact and laborious inquirer than 
either) in his " Titles of Honour," affords a glimpse of 
satisfaction upon the subject. There is an heraldic term, 
indeed, which seems to imply gentility, and the right to 
coat-armour (but nothing further), in persons thus quali- 
fied. But the sinister bend is more probably interpreted 
by the best writers on this science, of some irregularity 
of birth than of bodily conformation. Nobility is either 
hereditary or by creation, commonly caUed patent. Of 
the former kind, the title in question cannot be, seeing 
that the notion of it is limited to a personal distinction 
which does not necessarily follow in the blood. Honours 
of this nature, as Mr. Anstey very well observes, descend, 
moreover, in a right line. It must be by patent, then, 
if any thing. But who can show it ? How comes it to 
be dormant ? Under what king's reign is it patented 1 
Among the grounds of nobility cited by the learned Mr. 
Ashmole, after " Services in the Field or in the Council 
Chamber," he judiciously sets down " Honours conferred 
by the sovereign out of mere benevolence, or as favouring 


one subject rather than another for some likeness or con- 
formity observed (or but supposed) in him to the royal 
nature/' and instances the graces showered upon Charles 
Brandon, who, " in his goodly person being thought not 
a little to favour the port and bearing of the king's own 
majesty, was by that sovereign. King Henry the Eighth, 
for some or one of these respects, highly promoted and 
preferred.*' Here, if anywhere, we thought we had dis- 
covered a clue to our researches. But after a painful 
investigation. of the rolls and records under the reign of 
Richard the Third, or " Richard Crouchback;" as he is 
more usually designated in the chronicles, — from a tra- 
ditionary stoop or gibbosity in that part, — ^we do not find 
that that monarch conferred any such lordships as are 
here pretended, upon any subject or subjects, on a simple 
plea of "conformity" in that respect to the "royal 
nature." The posture of affairs, in those tumultuous 
times preceding the battle of Bosworth, possibly left him 
at no leisure to attend to such niceties. Further than 
his reign we have not extended our inquiries, the kings 
of England who preceded or followed him being generally 
described by historians to have been of straight and clean 
limbs, the " natural derivative," says Daniel,^ " of high 
blood, if not its primitive recommendation to such en- 
noblement, as denoting strength and martial prowess, — 
the qualities set most by in that fighting age." Another 
motive, which inclines us to scruple the validity of this 
claim, is the remarkable fact, that none of the persons in 
whom the right is supposed to be vested do ever insist 
upon it themselves. There is no instance of any of them 
" suing his patent," as the law-books call it ; much less 
of his having actually stepped up into his proper seat, 
as, so qualified, we might expect that some of them would 
have had the spirit to do, in the House of Lords. On 
the contrary, it seems to be a distinction thrust upon 
them. " Their title of * lord,' " says one of their own 
body, speaking of the common people, "I never much 
^ History of England, Temporibvs Edvxirdi Primi et sequmtibus. 


valued, and now I entirely despise; and yet tbey will 
force it upon me as an honour which they have a right 
to bestow, and which I have none to refuse."^ Upon a 
dispassionate review of the subject, we are disposed to 
believe that there is no right to the peerage incident to 
mere bodily configuration; that the title in dispute is 
merely honorary, and depending upon the breath of the 
common people, which in these reahns is so far from the 
power of conferring nobility, that the ablest constitu- 
tionalists have agreed in nothing more unanimously than 
in the maxim, that "the king is the sole fountain of 

^ Hay on Defonnity. 


Charles Lamb, bom in the Inner Temple, 10th 
February, 1775; educated in Christ's Hospital; after- 
wards a clerk in the Accountants' Office, East India 
House; pensioned off from that service, 1826, after 
thirty-three years' service ; is now a gentleman at large ; 
can remember few specialties in his life worth noting, 
except that he once caught a swallow flying (teste md 
many). Below the middle stature ; cast of face slightly 
Jewish, with no Judaic tinge in his complexional religion ; 
stammers abominably, and is therefore more apt to dis- 
charge his occasional conversation in a quaint aphorism, 
or a poor quibble, than in set and edifying speeches ; has 
consequently been libelled as a person always aiming at 
wit ; which, as he told a dull fellow that charged him 
with it, is at least as good as aiming at dulness. A 
small eater, but not drinker ; confesses a partiality for 
the production of the juniper-berry ; was a fierce smoker 
of tobacco, but may be resembled to a volcano burnt out, 
emitting only now and then a casual puff. Has been 
guilty of obtruding upon the public a tale, in prose, 
called "Rosamund Gray;" a dramatic sketch, named 
"John Woodvil;" a "Farewell Ode to Tobacco," with 
sundry other poems, and light prose matter, collected in 
two slight crown octavos, and pompously christened his 
works, though in fact they were his recreations ; and his 
true works may be found on the shelves of Leadenhall 
Street, filling some hundred folios. He is also the true 
Elia, whose Essays are extant in a little volume, published 


a year or two Bince, and rather better known &om that 
name without a meaning than from any thing he has 
done, or can hope to do, in his own. He was also the 
first to draw the public attention to the old English 
dramatists, in a work called '* Specimens of English 
Dramatic Writers who lived about the Time of Shak- 
speare," published about fifteen years since. In short, 
all his merits and demerits to set forth would take to 
the end of Mr. Upcott's book, and then not be told 

He died 18 , much lamented. 

Witness his hand, 

Charles Lamb. 

18^ Jpnl 1827. 


Sir — ^You have done me an unfriendly office, without 
perhaps much considering what you were doing. You 
have given an ill name to my poor lucubrations. In a 
recent paper on Infidelity, you usher in a conditional 
commendation of them with an exception ; which, preced- 
ing the encomium, and taking up nearly the same space 
with it, must impress your readers with the notion, that 
the objectional parts in them are at least equal in quantity 
to the pardonable. The censure is in fact the criticism ; 
the praise — a concession merely. Exceptions usually 
foUow, to qualify praise or blame. But there stands 
your reproof, in the very front of your notice, in ugly 
characters, like some bugbear, to frighten all good Christ- 
ians from purchasing. Through you I become an object 
of suspicion to preceptors of youth, and fathers of families. 
"A book which wants only a sounder religious feding^ 
to he as delightful as it is original" With no further 
explanation, what must your readers coigecture, but that 
my little volume is some vehicle for heresy or infidelity ? 
The quotation which you honour me by subjoining, oddly 
enough, is of a character which bespeaks a temperament 
in the writer the very reverse of that your reproof goes 
to insinuate. Had you been taxing me with superstition, 
the passage would have been pertinent to the censure. 
Was it worth your while to go so far out of your way to 
affront the feelings of an old friend, and commit yourself 


by an irrelevant quotation, for the pleasure of reflecting 
upon a poor child, an exile at Genoa ) 

I am at a loss what particular essay you had in view 
(if my poor ramblings amount to that appellation) when 
you were in such a hurry to thrust in your objection, 
like bad news, foremost. — Perhaps the paper on " Saying 
Graces " was the obnoxious feature. I have endeavoured 
there to rescue a voluntary duty — good in place, but 
never, as I remember, literally commanded — from the 
charge of an undecent formality. Rightly taken, sir, 
that paper was not against Graces, but Want of Grace ; 
not against the ceremony, but the carelessness and sloven- 
liness so often observed in the performance of it. 

Or was it that on the " New Year " — ^in which I have 
described the feelings of the merely natural man, on a 
consideration of the amazing change, which is supposable 
to take place on our removal from this fleshly scene ) If 
men would honestly confess their misgivings (which few 
men will) there are times when the strongest Christian 
of us, I believe, has reeled under questions of such 
staggering obscurity. I do not accuse you of this weak- 
nes& There are some who tremblingly reach out shaking 
hands to the guidance of Faith — others who stoutly 
venture into the dark (their Human Confidence their 
leader, whom they mistjEike for Faith); and, investing 
themselves beforehand with cherubic wings, as they fancy, 
find their new robes as familiar, and fitting to the sup- 
posed growth and stature in godliness, as the cast they 
left off yesterday — some whose hope totters upon crutches 
— others who stalk into futurity upon stilts. 

The contemplation of a Spiritual World, — which, with- 
out the addition of a misgiving conscience, is enough to 
shake some natures to their foundation — is smoothly got 
over by others, who shall float over the black billows in 
their little boat of No-Distrust, as unconcernedly as over 
a summer sea. The difference is chiefly constitutional 

One man shall love his friends and his friends' faces ; 
and, under the uncertainty of conversing with them 


again, in the same manner and familiar circumstances of 
sight, speech, etc., as upon earth — in a moment of no 
irreverent weakness — for a dream-while — no more — 
would be almost content, for a reward of a life of virtue 
(if he could ascribe such acceptance to his lame perform- 
ances), to take up his portion with those he loved, and 
was made to love, in this good world, which he knows — 
which was created so lovely, beyond his deservings. 
Another, embracing a more exalted vision — so that he 
might receive indefinite additaments of power, knowledge, 
beauty, glory, etc. — ^is ready to forego the recognition of 
humbler individualities of earth, and the old familiar 
faces. The shapings of our heavens are the modifications 
of our constitutions ; and Mr. Feeble Mind, or Mr. Great 
Heart, is bom in every one of us. 

Some (and such have been accounted the safest divines) 
have shrunk from pronouncing upon the final state of any 
man ; nor dare they pronounce the case of Judas to be 
desperate. Others (with stronger optics), as plainly as 
with the eye of flesh, shall behold a given king in bliss, 
and a given chamberlain in torment ; even to the eter- 
nising of a cast of the eye in the latter, his own self- 
mocked and good-humouredly-borne deformity on earth, 
but supposed to aggravate the uncouth and hideous 
expression of his pangs in the other place. That one 
man can presume ^o far, and that another would with 
shuddering disclaim such confidences, is, I believe, an 
effect of the nerves purely. 

If, in either of these papers, or elsewhere, I have been 
betrayed into some levities — not affronting the sanctuary, 
but glancing perhaps at some of the outskirts and extreme 
edges, the debatable land between the holy and profane 
regions — (for the admixture of man's inventions, twisting 
themselves with the name of religion itself has artfully 
made it difficult to touch even the alloy, without, in some 
men's estimation, soiling the fine gold)— if I have sported 
within the purlieus of serious matter — it was, I dare say, 
a humour — be not startled, sir, — ^which I have unwit- 


tingly derived from yourself. You have all your life 
been making a jest of the Devil. Not of the scriptural 
meaning of that dark essence— personal or allegorical; 
for the nature is nowhere plainly delivered. I acquit 
you of intentional irreverence. But indeed you have 
made wonderfully free with, and been mighty pleasant 
upon, the popular idea and attributes of him. A Koble 
Lord, your brother Visionary, has scarcely taken greater 
liberties with the material keys, and merely Catholic 
notion of St. Peter. You have flattered him in prose ; 
you have chanted him in goodly odes. You have been 
his Jester; volunteer Laureate, and self- elected Court 
Poet to Beelzebub. 

You have never ridiculed, I believe, what you thought 
to be religion, but you are always girding at what some 
pious, but perhaps mistaken folks, think to be so. For 
this reason, I am sony to hear that you are engaged 
upon a life of George Fox. I know you will fall into 
the error of intermixing some comic stuflf with your 
seriousness. The Quakers tremble at the subject in your 
hands. The Methodists are as shy of you, upon account 
of their founder. But, above all, our Popish brethren 
are most in your debt. The errors of that Church have 
proved a fruitful source to your scoffing vein. Their 
Legend has been a Golden one to you. And here your 
friends, sir, have noticed a notable inconsistency. To 
the imposing rites, the solemn penances, devout austeri- 
ties of that communion; the affecting though erring 
piety of their hermits; the silence and solitude of the 
Chartreux — their crossings, their holy waters — their 
Virgin, and their saints — to these, they say, you have 
been indebted for the best feelings, and the richest 
imagery, of your epic poetry. You have drawn copious 
drafts upon Loretto. We thought at one time you were 
going post to Rome — but that in the facetious commen- 
taries, which it is your custom to append so plentifully, 
and (some say) injudiciously, to your loftiest perform- 
ances in this Mnd, you spurn the uplifted toe, which you 


but just now seemed to court ; leaye his holiness in the 
lurch; and show him a fair pair of Protestant heels 
under your Romish vestment. When we think you 
already at the wicket^ suddenly a violent cross wind 
blows you transverse — 

*' Ten thousand leagnes awry. 

Then might we see 

Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost 
And flntter'd into rags ; then reliqnes, beads, 
Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls, 
The sport of winds." 

You pick up pence by showing the hallowed bones, shrine, 
and crucifix ; and you take money a second time by ex- 
posing the trick of them afberwarda You carry your 
verse to Castle Angelo for sale in a morning; and, 
swifter than a pedlar can transmute his pack, you are at 
Canterbury with your prose ware before Dight. 

Sir, is it that I dislike you in this meny vein ) The 
very reverse. No countenance becomes an intelligent 
jest better than your own. It is your grave aspect, 
when you look awfiil upon your poor friends, which I 
would deprecata 

In more than one place, if I mistake not, you have 
been pleased to compliment me at the expense of my 
companions. I cannot accept your compliment at such 
a price. The upbraiding a man's poverty naturally makes 
him look about him to see whether he be so poor indeed 
as he is presumed to be. You have put me upon count- 
ing my riches. BeaUy, Sir, I did not know I was so 

wealthy in the article of friendships. There is y and 

, whom you never heard of, but exemplary characters 

both, and excellent church-goers; and N., mine and 
my father's friend for nearly half a century ; and the en- 
thusiast for Wordsworth's poetry, T.N.T., a little tainted 
with Socinianism, it is to be feared, but constant in his 

attachments, and a capital critic ; and , a sturdy 

old Athanasian, so that sets all to rights again; and 
W., the light, and warm -as -light -hearted, Janus of 



the London; and the translator of Dante, still a 
curate, modest and amiable C. ; and AUan C^ the large- 
hearted Scot; and P ^r, candid and affectionate as 

his own poetry; and A p, Coleridge's friend; and 

G n, his more than friend; and Coleridge himself, 

the same to me still, as in those old evenings, when we 
used to sit and speculate (do you remember them, Sir %) 
at our old Salutation tavern, upon Pantisocracy and 

golden days to come on earth ; and W th (why, sir, 

I might drop my rent-roll here, such goodly farms and 
manors have I reckoned up already. In what possession 
has not this last name alone estated me ? — ^but I will go 
on) — and M , the noble-minded kinsman, by wed- 
lock, of W th; and H. C. R, unwearied in the 

offices of a friend; and Clarkson, almost above the 
narrowness of that relation, yet condescending not seldom 
heretofore from the labours of his world-embracing charity 
to bless my humble roof; and the gall-less and single- 
minded Dyer; and the high-minded associate of Cook, 
the veteran Colonel, with his lusty heart still sending 
cartels of defiance to old Time; and, not least, W.A., 
the last and steadiest left to me of that little knot of 
whist-players, that used to assemble weekly, for so many 
years, at the Queen's Gate (you remember them. Sir?) 
and caUed Admiral Bumey friend. 

I will come to the point at once. I believe you will 
not make many exceptions to my associates so far. But 
I have purposely omitted some intimacies, which I do 
not yet repent of having contracted, with two gentlemen 
diametrically opposed to yourself in principles. You will 
understand me to allude to the authors of " Rimini " and 
of the " Table Talk." And first of the former.— 

It is an error more particularly incident to persons of 
the correctest principles and habits, to seclude themselves 
from the rest of mankind, as from another species, and 
form into knots and clubs. The best people, herding 
thus exclusively, are in danger of contracting a narrow- 
ness. Heat and cold, dryness and moisture, in the 


natural world do not fly asunder, to split the globe into 
sectarian parts and separations ; but mingling, as they 
best may, correct the malignity of any single predomin- 
ance. The analogy holds, I suppose, in the moral world. 
If all the good people were to ship themselves off to Terra 
Incognita, what, in humanity's name, is to become of the 
refuse 1 If the persons, whom I have chiefly in view, 
have not pushed matters to this extremity yet, they carry 
them as far as they can go. Instead of mixing with the 
infidel and the freethinker — in the room of opening a 
negotiation, to try at least to find out at which gate the 
error entered — they huddle close together, in a weak fear 
of infection, like that pusillanimous underling in Spenser — 

" This is the wandering wood, this Error's den ; 
A monster vile, whom God and man does hate : 
Therefore, I rede, beware." Fly, fly, quoth then 
The fearful Dwarf. 

And, if they be writers in orthodox journals, address- 
ing themselves only to the irritable passions of the un- 
believer, they proceed in a safe system of strengthening 
the strong hands, and confirming the valiant knees ; of 
converting the already converted, and proselyting their 
own party. I am the more convinced of this from a 
passage in the very Treatise which occasioned this letter. 
It is where, having recommended to the doubter the 
writings of Michaelis and Lardner, you ride triumphantly 
over the necks of all infidels, sceptics, and dissenters, 
from this time to the world's end, upon the wheels of 
two unanswerable deductions. I do not hold it meet to 
set down, in a Miscellaneous Compilation like this, such 
religious words as you have thought fit to introduce into 
the pages of a petulant literary journal I therefore beg 
leave to substitute numerals^ and refer to the Quarterly 
Review (for January) for fiUing of them upt " Here," 
say you "as in the history of 7, if these books are 
authentic, the events which they relate must be true; 
if they were written by 8, 9 is 10 and 11." Your first 
deduction, if it means honestly, rests upon two identical 


propofiitioDB ; though I suspect an unfairness in one of 
the terms, which this would not be quite the proper 
place for explicating. At all eyents, you haye no cause 
to triumph; you haye not been proying the premises, 
but refer for satisfaction therein to very long and labori- 
ous works, which may well employ the sceptic a twelve- 
month or two to digest, before he can possibly be ripe 
for your conclusion. When he has satisfied himself about 
the premises, he will concede to you the inference, I dare 
say, most readily. But your latter deduction, viz., that 
because 8 has written a book concerning 9, therefore 10 
and 11 was certainly his meaning, is one of the most 
extraordinary conclusions per solium that I have had the 
good fortune to meet with. As far as 10 is verbally 
asserted in the writings, all sects must agree with you ; 
but you cannot be ignorant of the many various ways in 
which the doctrine of the * * * * has been understood, 
from a low figurative expression (with the Unitarians) 
up to the most mysterious actuality ; in which highest 
sense alone you and your church tsJie it. And for 11, 
that there is no other possible condrmon — ^to hazard this 
in the face of so many thousands of Arians and Socinians, 
etc., who have drawn so opposite a one, is such a piece 
of theological hardihood, as, I think, warrants me in con- 
cluding thatj when you sit down to pen theology, you do 
not at all consider your opponents, but have in your eye, 
merely and exclusively, readers of the same way of think- 
ing with yourself, and therefore have no occasion to 
trouble yourself with the quality of the logic to which 
you treat them. 

Neither can I think, if you had had the wel&ie of the 
poor child — over whose hopeless condition you whine so 
lamentably and (I must think) unseasonably — seriously at 
heart, that you could have taken the step of sticking him 
up by name — T. H., is as good as naming him — to per- 
petuate an outrage upon the parental feelings, as long as 
the Quarterly Review shall last. Was it necessary to 
specify an individual case^ and give to Christian com- 


passion the appearance of a personal attack ? Is this the 
way to conciliate unbelievers, or not rather to widen the 
breach irreparably 1 

I own I could never think so considerably of myself 
as to decline the society of an agreeable or worthy man 
upon difference of opinion only. The impediments and 
the facilitations to a sound belief are various and inscrut- 
able as the heart of man. Some believe upon weak prin- 
ciples ; others cannot feel the efficacy of the strongest. 
One of the most candid, most upright, and single-meaning 
men I ever knew, was the late Thomas Holcroft. I 
believe he never said one thing, and meant another, in 
his life; and, as near as I can guess, he never acted 
otherwise than with the most scrupulous attention to 
conscience. Ought we to wish the character false, for 
the sake of a hollow compliment to Christianity ? 

Accident introduced me to the acquaintance of Mr. L. 
H. — and the experience of his many friendly qualities 
confirmed a friendship between us. You who have been 
misrepresented yourself, I should hope, have not lent an 
idle ear to the calumnies which have been spread abroad 
respecting this gentleman. I was admitted to his house- 
hold for some years, and do most solemnly aver that I 
believe him to be in his domestic relations as correct as 
any man. He chose an ill-judged subject for a poem, 
the peccant humours of which have been visited on him 
tenfold by the artful use, which his adversaries have 
made, of an equivocal term. The subject itself was 
started by Dante, but better because brieflier treated of. 
But the crime of the lovers, in the Italian and the English 
poet, with its aggravated enormity of circumstance, is not 
of a kind (as the critics of the latter well knew) with 
those conjunctions, for which Nature herself has provided 
no excuse, because no temptation. It has nothing in 
common with the black horrors, sung by Ford and Mas- 
singer. The familiarising of it in the tale and fable may 
be for that reason incidentally more contagious. In spite 
of Bimini, I must look upon its author as a man of taste 



and a poet. He is better than so ; he is one of the most 
cordial-minded men I ever knew, and matchless as a fire- 
side companion. I mean not to affront or womid your 
feelings when I say that in his more genial moods he has 
often reminded me of you. There is the same air of mild 
dogmatism— the same condescending to a boyish sportive- 
ness — in both your conversations. His handwriting is 
so much the same with your own, that I have opened 
more than one letter of his, hoping, nay, not doubting, 
but it was from you, and have been disappointed (he will 
bear with my saying so) at the discovery of my error. 
L. H. is unfortunate in holding some loose and not very 
definite speculations (for at times I think he hardly knows 
whither his premises would carry him) on marriage — 
the tenets, I conceive, of the " Political Justice " carried 
a little farther. For anything I could discover in his 
practice, they have reference, like those, to some future 
possible condition of society, and not to the present times. 
But neither for these obliquities of thinking (upon which 
my own conclusions are as distant as the poles asunder) — 
nor for his political asperities and petulances, which are 
wearing out with the heats and vanities of youth — did I 
select him for a friend ; but for qualities which fitted him 
for that relation. I do not know whether I flatter my- 
self with being the occasion, but certain .it is, that, 
touched with some misgivings for sundry harsh things 
which he had written aforetime against our friend C, 
before he left this country, he sought a reconciliation with 
that gentleman (himself being his own introducer), and 
found it. 

L. H. is now in Italy; on his departure to which 
land, with much regret I took my leave of him and his 
little family — seven of them. Sir, with their mother — and 
as kind a set of little people (T. H. and all), as affection- 
ate children as ever blessed a parent. Had you seen 
them. Sir, I think you could not have looked upon them 
as so many little Jonases — but rather as pledges of the 
vessel's safety, that was to bear such a freight of love. 


I wish you would read Mr. H.'s lines to that same 
T. H., "six years old, duriug a sickness :" — 

** Sleep breathes at last from out thee, 
My little patient boy ." 

(they are to be found on the 47th page of *' Foliage ") 
— and ask yourself how far they are out of the spirit 
of Christianity. I have a letter from Italy, received 
but the other day, into which L. H. has put as much 
heart, and as many friendly yearnings after old asso- 
ciates, and native country, as, I think, paper can well 
hold. It would do you no hurt to give that the perusal 

From the other gentleman I neither expect nor desire 
(as he is well assured) any such concessions as L. H. 
made to C. What hath soured him, and made him to 
suspect his friends of infidelity towards him, when there 
was no such matter, I know not. I stood well with him 
for fifteen years (the proudest of my life), and have ever 
spoken my fuU mind of him to some, to whom his pan- 
egyric must naturally be least tastefiiL I never in thought 
swerved from him, I never betrayed him, I never slack- 
ened in my admiration of him ; I was the same to him 
(neither better nor worse), though he could not see it, as 
in the days when he thought fit to trust me. At this 
instant he may be preparing for me some compHment, 
above my deserts, as he has sprinkled many such among 
his admirable books, for which I rest his debtor ; or, for 
anything I know, or can guess to the contrary, he may 
be about to read a lecture on my weaknesses. He is 
welcome to them (as he was to my humble hearth), if 
they can divert a spleen, or ventilate a fit of sullenness. 
I wish he would not quarrel with the world at the rate 
he does ; but the reconciliation must be effected by him- 
self, and I despair of living to see that day. But pro- 
testing against much that he . has written, and some 
things which he chooses to do; judging him by his 
conversation which I enjoyed so long, and relished so 


deeply ; or by his books, in those places where no cloud- 
ing passion intervenes — I should belie my own conscience, 
if I said less, than that I think W. H. to be, in his 
natural and healthy state, one of the wisest and finest 
spirits breathing. So far from being ashamed of that 
intimacy, which was betwixt us, it is my boast that I 
was able for so many years to have preserved it entire ; 
and I think I shall go to my grave without finding or 
expecting to find, such another companion. But I forget 
my manners — ^you will pardon me, Sir — I return to the 

Sir, you were pleased (you know where) to invite me 
to a compliance with the wholesome forms and doctrines 
of the Church of England. I take your advice with as 
much kindness as it was meant. But I must think the 
invitation rather more kind than seasonable. I am a 
Dissenter. The last sect, with which you can remember 
me to have made common profession, were the Unitarians. 
You would think it not very pertinent, if (fearing that 
all was not well with you) I were gravely to invite you 
(for a remedy) to attend with me a course of Mr. Bel- 
sham's Lectures at Hackney. Perhaps I have scruples 
to some of your forms and doctrines. But if I come, am 
I secure of civil treatment ? The last time I was in any 
of your places of worship was on Easter Sunday last I 
had the satisfaction of listening to a very sensible sermon 
of an argumentative turn, delivered with great propriety 
by one of your bishops. The place was Westminster 
Abbey. As such religion as I have, has always acted on 
me more by way of sentiment than argumentative process, 
I was not unwilling, after sermon ended, by no unbecom- 
ing transition, to pass over to some serious feelings, 
impossible to be disconnected from the sight of those old 
tombs, etc. But, by whose order I know not, I was 
debarred that privilege even for so short a space as a few 
minutes ; and turned, like a dog, or some profane person, 
out into the common street ; with feelings, which I could 
not help, but not very congenial to the day or discourse. 


I do not know that I shall ever venture myself again into 
one of your churches. 

You had your education at Westminster ; and doubt- 
less among those dim aisles and cloisters, you must have 
gathered much of that devotional feeling in those young 
years, on which your purest mind feeds still — ^and may it 
feed ! The antiquarian spirit, strong in you, and grace- 
fully blending ever with the religious, may have been 
sown in you among those wrecks of splendid mortality. 
You owe it to the place of your education; you owe 
it to your learned fondness for the architecture of your 
ancestors ; you owe it to the venerableness of your eccle- 
siastical establishment, which is daily lessened and called 
in question through these practices — ^to speak aloud your 
sense of them ; never to desist raising your voice against 
them, till they be totally done away with and abolished ; 
till the doors of Westminster Abbey be no longer closed 
against the decent, though low -in -purse enthusiast, or 
blameless devotee, who must commit an injury against 
his family economy, if he would be indulged with a bare 
admission within its walls. You owe it to the decencies, 
which you wish to see maintained in its impressive ser- 
vices, that our Cathedral be no longer an object of in- 
spection to the poor at those times only, in which they 
must rob from their attendance on the worship every 
minute which they can bestow upon the fabric. In vain 
the public prints have taken up this subject, in vain such 
poor nameless writers as myself express their indignation. 
A word firam you, Sir — a hint in your Journal — would 
be sufficient to fling open the doors of the Beautiful 
Temple again, as we can remember them when we were 
boys. At that time of life, what would the imaginative 
faculty (such as it is) in both of us, have suffered, if the 
entrance to so much reflection had been obstructed by 
the demand of so much silver ! — If we had scraped it up 
to gain an occasional admission (as we certainly should 
have done) would the sight of those old tombs have been 
as impressive to us (while we had been weighing anxiously 


pradence against sentiment) as when the gates stood 
open, as those of the adjacent Park; when we could 
walk in at any time, as the mood brought us, for a 
shorter or a longer time, as that lasted ? Is the being 
shown over a place the same as silently for ourselves 
detecting the genius of it ? In no part of our beloved 
Abbey now can a person find entrance (out of service 
time) under the sum of two shillings. The rich and the 
great will smile at the anticlimax, presumed to lie in 
those two short words. But you can tell them, Sir, how 
much quiet worth, how much capacity for enlarged feel- 
ing, how much taste and genius, may coexist, especially 
in youth, with a purse incompetent to this demand. A 
respected friend of ours, during his late visit to the 
metropolis, presented himself for admission to Saint 
Paul's. At the same time a decently clothed man, with 
as decent a wife, and child, were bargaining for the same 
indulgence. The price was only two-pence each person. 
The poor but decent man hesitated, desirous to go in ; 
but there were three of them, and he turned away 
reluctantly. Perhaps he wished to have seen the tomb 
of Kelson. Perhaps the Interior of the Cathedral was 
his object. But in the state of his finances, even sixpence 
might reasonably seem too much. Tell the Aristocracy 
of the country (no man can do it more impressively); 
instruct them of what value these insignificant pieces of 
money, these minims to their sight, may be to their 
humbler brethren. Shame these Sellers out of the 
Temple. Show the poor that you can sometimes think 
of them in some other light than as mutineers and 
malcontents. Conciliate them by such kind methods to 
their superiors, civil and ecclesiastical. Stop the mouths 
of the railers ; and suffer your old friends, upon the old 
terms, again to honour and admire you. Stifle not the 
suggestions of your better nature with the pretext, that 
an indiscriminate admission would expose the Tombs to 
violation. Remember your boy days. Did you ever see 
or hear of a mob in the Abbey, while it was free to all ? 


Did the rabble come there, or trouble their heads about 
such speculations ? It is all that you can do to drive 
them into your churches ; they do not volimtarily offer 
themselves. They have, alas ! no passion for antiquities ; 
for tomb of king or prelate, sage or poet. If they had, 
they would be no longer the rabble. 

For forty years that I have known the Fabric, the 
only well-attested charge of violation adduced, has been 
— a ridiculous dismembennent committed upon the eflfigy 
of that amiable spy Major Andrd. And is it for this — 
the wanton mischief of some school-boy, fired perhaps 
with raw notions of Transatlantic Freedom — or the 
remote possibiHty of such a mischief occurring again, so 
easily to be prevented by stationing a constable within 
the walls, if the vergers are incompetent to the duty — 
is it upon such wretched pretences, that the people of 
England are made to pay a new Peter's Pence, so long 
abrogated ; or must content themselves with contemplat- 
ing the ragged Exterior of their Cathedral 1 The mischief 
was done about the time that you were a scholar there. 
Do you know anything about the unfortunate relic 1 Can 
you help us in this emergency to find the nose ? or can 
you give Chantrey a notion (from memory) of its pristine 
life and vigour ? I am willing for peace's sake to sub- 
scribe my guinea towards the restoration of the lamented 
feature. — I am. Sir, your humble Servant, 




It is a desideratum in works that treat de re cvlhvaridf 
that we have no rationale of sauces, or theory of mixed 
flavours : as to show why cabbage is reprehensible with 
roast beef, laudable with bacon; why the haunch of 
mutton seeks the alliance of currant -jelly, the shoulder 
civilly declineth it ; why loin of veal (a pretty problem), 
being itself unctuous, seeketh the adventitious lubricity 
of melted butter, — and why the same part in pork, not 
more oleaginous, abhorreth from it; why the French 
bean sympathises with the flesh of deer ; why salt fish 
points to parsnip, brawn makes a dead-set at mustard ; 
why cats prefer valerian to heart's-ease, old ladies vice 
versdy — though this is rather travelling out of the road 
of the dietetics, and may be thought a question more 
curious than relevant ; why salmon (a strong sapor per 
se) fortifieth its condition with the mighty lobster-sauce, 
whose embraces are fatal to the delicater relish of the 
turbot; why oysters in death rise up against the con- 
tamination of brown sugar, while they are posthumously 
amorous of vinegar, why the sour mango and the sweet 
jam by turns court and are accepted by the compilable 
mutton-hash, — she not yet decidedly declaring for either. 
We are as yet but in the empirical stage of cookery. 
We feed ignorantly, and want to be able to give a reason 
of the relish that is in us ; so that, if Kature should 
furnish us with a new meat, or be prodigally pleased to 


restore the phoenix, upon a given flavour, we might be able 
to pronounce instantly, on philosophical principles, what 
the sauce to it should be, — ^what the curious adjuncts. 

The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action 
by stealth, and to have it found out by accident. 

'Tis unpleasant to meet a beggar. It is painful to 
deny him ; and, if you relieve him, it is so much out of 
your pocket 

Men marry for fortune, and sometimes to please their 
fancy ; but, much oftener than is suspected, they consider 
what the world will say of it, — how such a woman in 
their friends' eyes will look at the head of a table. 
Hence we see so many insipid beauties made wives of, 
that could not have struck the particular fancy of any 
man that had any fancy at all. These I call furniture 
vrives ; as men buy furniture pictures, because they suit 
this or that niche in their dining-parlours. 

Your universally cried -up beauties are the very last 
choice which a man of taste would make. What pleases 
all, cannot have that individual charm which makes this 
or that countenance engaging to you, and to you only 
perhaps, you know not why. What gained the fair 
Gunnings titled husbands, who, after all, turned out very 
sorry wives ^ Popular repute. 

It is a sore trial when a daughter shall marry against 
her father's approbation. A little hard-heartedness, and 
aversion to a reconcilement, is almost pardonable. After 
all, Will Dockwray's way is, perhaps, the wisest. His 
best-loved daughter made a most imprudent match ; in 
fact, eloped with the last man in the world that her 
father would have wished her to marry. All the world 
said that he would never speak to her again. For 
months she durst not write to him, much less come near 
him. But, in a casual rencounter, he met her in the 


streets of Ware, — Ware, that will long remember the 
mild virtues of William Dockwray, Esq. What said 
the parent to his disobedient child, whose knees faltered 
mider her at the sight of him? "Ha, Sukey! is it 
you t" with that benevolent aspect with which he paced 
the streets of Ware, venerated as an angel : " come and 
dine with us on Sunday/' Then turning away, and 
again turning back, as if he had forgotten something, 
he added, "And, Sukey, do you hear? — bring your 
husband with you." This was all the reproof she ever 
heard from him. Need it be added, that the match 
turned out better for Susan than the world expected 1 

The vices of some men are magnificent. Compare the 
amours of Henry the Eighth and Charles the Second. 
The Stuart had mistresses : the Tudor kept wives. 

" We read the * Paradise Lost ' as a task," says Dr. 
Johnson. Nay, rather as a celestial recreation, of which 
the dullard mind is not at all hours alike recipient. 
" Nobody ever wished it longer ;" nor the moon rounder, 
he might have added. Why, *tis the perfectness and 
completeness of it which makes us imagine that not a 
line could be added to it, or diminished from it, with 
advantage. Would we have a cubit added to the stature 
of the Medicean Venus ? Do we wish her taller 1 

Amidst the complaints of the wide spread of infidelity 
among us, it is consolatory that a sect has sprung up in 
the heart of the metropolis, and is daily on the increase, 
of teachers of that healing doctrine which Pope upheld, 
and against which Voltaire directed his envenomed wit : 
we mean those practical preachers of optimism, or the 
belief that whatever is is best; the cads of omnibuses, 
who from their little back pulpits, not once in three or 
four hours, as those proclaimers of " God and his prophet" 
in Mussulman countries, but every minute, at the entry 
or exit of a brief passenger, are heard, in an almost 


prophetic tone, to exclaim (Wisdom crying out, as it 
were, in the streets), "All's right !" 

Advice is not so commonly thrown away as is imagined. 
We seek it in difSculties. But, in common speech, we 
are apt to confound with it adrnjonitixm ; as when a 
friend reminds one that drink is prejudicial to the health, 
etc. We do not care to be told of that which we know 

better than the good man that admonishes. M 

sent to his friend L , who is no water-drinker, a 

twopenny tract "Against the Use of Fermented Liquors/' 

L acknowledged the obligation, as far as to twopence, 

Penotier's advice was the safest, after all : — 

" I advised him " — 

But I must tell you. The dear, good-meaning, no- 
thinking creature had been dumfounding a company of 
us with a detail of inextricable difficulties, in which the 
circumstances of an acquaintance of his were involved. 
No clew of light oflfered itself. . He grew more and 
more misty as he proceeded. We pitied his friend, and 
thought, — 

" God help the man so rapt in Error's endless maze !" 

when, suddenly brightening up his placid countenance, 
like one that had found out a riddle, and looked to have 
the solution admired, — 

" At last," said he, " I advised him " — 

Here he paused, and here we were again interminably 
thrown back. By no possible guess could any of us 
aim at the drift of the meaning he was about to be 
delivered of. 

" I advised him," he repeated, " to have some advice 
upon the subject." 

A general approbation followed; and it was unani- 
mously agreed, that, under all the circumstances of the case, 
no sounder or more judicious counsel could have been given. 

A laxity pervades the popular use of words. 


Parson W is not quite so continent as Diana, yet 

prettily dissembleth his frailty. Is Parson W , there- 
fore, a hypocrite? I think not. Where the conceal- 
ment of a vice is less pernicious than the barefaced 
publication of it would be, no additional delinquency is 

incurred in the secrecy. Parson W is simply an 

immoral clergyman. But if Parson W were to be 

for ever haranguing on the opposite virtue; choosing 
for his perpetual text, in preference to all other pulpit- 
topics, the remarkable resistance recorded in the 39th 
of Exodus; dwelling, moreover, and dilating upon it, 

— then Parson W might be reasonably suspected 

of hypocrisy. But Parson W rarely diverteth into 

such line of argument, or toucheth it briefly. His 
ordinary topics are fetched from "obedience to the 
powers that are," "submission to the civil magistrate 
in all commands that are not absolutely unlawful f on 
which he can delight to expatiate with equal fervour and 

Again : to despise a person is properly to look down 
upon him with none or the least possible emotion ; but 
when Clementina, who has lately lost her lover, with 
bosom heaving, eyes flashing, and her whole frame in 
agitation, pronounces with a peculiar emphasis that she 
" despises the fellow," depend upon it that he is not quite 
so despicable in her eyes as she would have us imagine. 

One more instance. If we must naturalise that por- 
tentous phrase, a truism^ it were well that we limited 
the use of it. Every commonplace or trite observation is 
not a truism. For example : A good name helps a man 
on in the world. This is nothing but a simple truth, 
however hackneyed. It has a distinct subject and predi- 
cate. But when the thing predicated is involved in the 
term of the subject, and so necessarily involved that by 
no possible conception they can be separated, then it 
becomes a truism ; as to say, " A good name is a proof 
of a man's estimation in the world." We seem to be 
saying something, when we say nothing. I was describing 


to F some knavish tricks of a mutual friend of ours. 

" If he did so and so," was the reply, " he cannot be an 
honest man." Here was a genuine truism, truth upon 
truth, inference and proposition identical, or rather a 
dictionary definition usurping the place of an inference. 

We are ashamed at sight of a monkey, — somehow as 
we are shy of poor relatioos. 

C imagined a Caledonian compartment in Hades, 

where there should be fire without sulphiu*. 

Absurd images are sometimes irresistible. I will 
mention two, — an elephant in a coach -office gravely 
coming to have his trunk booked ; a mermaid over a fish- 
kettle cooking her own tail. 

It is the praise of Shakspeare, with reference to the 
playwriters his contemporaries, that he has so few re- 
volting characters. Yet he has one that is singularly 
mean and disagreeable, — ^the King in "Hamlet." Neither 
has he characters of insignificance, unless the phantom 
that stalks over the stage as Julius Caesar, in the play 
of that name, may be accounted one. Neither has he 
envious characters, excepting the short part of Don John, 
in "Much Ado about Nothing." Neither has he un- 
entertaining characters, if we except Parolles, and the 
little that there is of the Clown in "All's Well that 
Ends WelL" 

Is it possible that Shakspeare should never have read 
Homer, in Chapman's version at least 1 If he had read 
it, could he mean to travesty it in the parts of those 
big boobies, Ajax and Achilles 1 Ulysses, Nestor, and 
Agamemnon are true to their parts in the " Iliad :" they 
are gentlemen at least. Thersites, though unamusing, 
is fairly deducible from it. Tro'ilus and Cressida are a 
fine graft upon it. But those two big bulks — 



It would settle the dispute as to whether Shakspeare 
intended Othello for a jealous character, to consider how 
differently we are affected towards him. and towards 
Leontes in the " Winter's Tale." Leontes is that char- 
acter. Othello's fault was simply credulity. 

* * Lear, Who are you ? 
Mine eyes are none of the best. 1*11 tell you straight. 
Are you not Kent ? 

Kent. The same ; your servant Kent. 
Where is your servant Caius ? 

Lear. 'Twas a good fellow, I can tell you that ', 
He'd strike, and quickly too : he is dead and rotten. 

Kent. No, my good lord : I am the very man — 

Lear. I'll see that straight — 

Kent. That from your first of difference and decay 
Have followed your sad steps. 

Lear. You are welcome hither. 

Albany. He knows not what he says ; and vain is it 
That we present us to him. 

Edgar. Look up, my lord. 

Kent. Yez not his ghost. Oh I let him pass. He hates him 
That would upon the rack of this rough world 
Stretch him out longer. " 

So ends "King Lear," the most stupendous of the 
Shakspearian dramas ; and Kent, the noblest feature of 
the conceptions of his divine mind. This is the magna- 
nimity of authorship, when a writer, having a topic pre- 
sented to him, fruitful of beauties for common minds, 
waives his privilege, and trusts to the judicious few for 
understanding the reason of his abstinence. What a 
pudder would a conmion dramatist have raised here of a 
reconciliation -scene, a perfect recognition, between the 
assumed Caius and his master ! — to the suffusing of many 
fair eyes, and the moistening of cambric handkerchiefs. 
The old dying king partially catching at the truth, and 
immediately lapsing into obliviousness, with the high- 
minded carelessness of the other to have his services 
appreciated, — as one that — 

* ' Served not for gain, 
Or followed out of form,"^ 


are among the most judicious, not to say heart-touching, 
strokes in Shakspeare. 

Allied to this magnanimity it is, where the pith and 
point of an argument, the amplification of which might 
compromise the modesty of the speaker, is delivered 
briefly, and, as it were, pareMhetically ; as in those few 
but pregnant words, in which the man in the old 
"Kut-brown Maid" rather intimates than reveals his 
unsuspecting high birth to the woman : — 

" Now understand, to Westmoreland, 
Which is my heritage^ 
I will you bring, and with a ring, 
By way of marriage, 
I will you take, and lady make." 

Turn we to the version of it, ten times diluted, of 
dear Mat Prior, — ^in his own way unequalled, and a poet 
now-a-days too much neglected. " In me," quoth Henry, 
addressing the astounded Emma, — with a flourish and an 
attitude, as we may conceive, — 

" In me behold the potent Edgar*s heir, 
Illustrious earl I him terrible in war, 
Let Loire confess." 

And with a deal of skimble-skamble stuff, as Hotspur 
would term it, more, presents the lady with a full and 
true enumeration of his papa's rent-roll in the fat soil by 

But, of all parentheses (not to quit the topic too 
suddenly), commend me to that most significant one, at 
the commencement of the old popular ballad of "Fair 
Rosamond :" — 

* ' When good King Henry ruled this land, 
The second of that name," 

Now mark, — 

*' (Besides the Queen) he dearly loved 
A fair and comely dame." 

There is great virtue in this besides. 


The different way in which the same stoiy may be 
told by different persons was never more strikingly illus- 
trated than by the manner in which the celebrated Jeremy 
OoUier has described the effects of Timotheus' music upon 
Alexander, in the second part of his Essays. We all 
know how Dryden has treated the subject Let us now 
hear his great contemporary and antagonist : "Timotheus, 
a Grecian," says Collier, '* was so great a master, that he 
could make a man storm and swagger like a tempest ; 
and then, by altering the notes and the time, he could 
take him down again, and sweeten his humour in a trice. 
One time, when Alexander was at dinner, the man played 
him a Phrygian air. The prince immediately rises^ 
snatches up his lance, and puts himself into a posture of 
fighting ; and the retreat was no sooner sounded by the 
change of the harmony, but his arms were grounded, and 
his fire extinct ; and he sat down as orderly as if he had 
come from one of Aristotle's lectures. I warrant you, 
Demosthenes would have been flourishing about such 
business a long hour, and may be not have done it neither. 
But Timotheus had a nearer cut to the soul : he could 
neck a passion at a stroke, and lay it asleep. Pythagoras 
once met with a parcel of drunken fellows, who were likely 
to be troublesome enough. He presently orders music to 
play grave, and chops into a Dorian. Upon this they 
all threw away their garlands, and were as sober and as 
shamefaced as one would wish." It is evident that 
Dryden in his inspired ode, and Collier in all this pudder 
of prose, meant the same thing. But what a work does 
the latter make with his '^necMng a passion at his 
stroke," "making a man storm and swagger like a 
tempest," and then " taking him down, and sweeting his 
humour in a trice " ! What in Dryden is " softly sweet in 
Lydian measures," Collier calls " chopping into a Dorian." 
This Collier was the same, who, in his Biographical 
Dictionary, says of Shakspeare, that " though his genius 
generally was jocular, and inclining to festivity, yet he 
could when he pleased he as serious as anybody P 


Oh the comfort of Bitting down heartily to an old folio, 
and thinking surely that the next hour or two will be 
your own ! — and the misery of being defeated by the 
useless call of somebody, who is come to tell you that he 
has just come from hearing Mr. Irving ! What is that 
to you? Let him go home, and digest what the good 
man has said. You are at your chapel, in your oratory. 

My friend Hume (not M.P.) has a curious manuscript 
in his possession, the original draught of the celebrated 
"Beggar's Petition" (who cannot say by heart the 
"Beggar's Petition"?) as it was written by some school- 
usher (as I remember), with corrections interlined from 
the pen of Oliver Goldsmith. As a specimen of the 
doctor's improvement, I recollect one most judicious 
alteration : — 

''A pampered menial drove me from the door/' 

It stood originally, — 

" A Uvery servant drove me," etc. 

Here is an instance of poetical or artificial language 
properly substituted for the phrase of common conversa- 
tion ; against Wordsworth. 

Our ancestors, the noble old Puritans of Cromwell's 
day, could distinguish between a day of religious rest and 
a day of recreation ; and while they exacted a vigorous 
abstinence from all amusements (even to walking out 
of nursery-maids with their charges in the fields) upon 
the Sabbath, in lieu of the superstitious observance of 
the saints' days, which they abrogated, they humanely 
gave to the apprentices and poorer sort of people every 
alternate Thursday for a day of entire sport and recre- 
ation. A strain of piety and policy to be commended 
above the profane mockery of the Stuarts and their 
" Book of Sports." 

I was once amused — there is a pleasure in affecting 
affectation — at the indignation of a crowd that was 


justling in with me at the pit-door of Covent Garden 
Theatre to have a sight of Master Betty — ^then at once 
in his dawn and his meridian — ^in Hamlet. I had been 
invited quite unexpectedly to join a party whom I met 
near the door of the play-house ; and I happened to have 
in my hand a large octavo of Johnson and Steevens' 
" Shakspeare/' which, the time not admitting of my 
carrying it home, of course went with me to the theatre. 
Just in the very heat and pressure of the doors opening, 
— the rush, as they term it, — I deliberately held the 
volume over my head, open at the scene in which the 
young Roscius had been most cried up, and quietly read 
by the lamplight. The clamour became universal. " The 
affectation of the fellow!" cried one. "Look at that 
gentleman reading, papa !" squeaked a young lady, who, 
in her admiration of the novelty, almost forgot her fears. 
I read on. " He ought to have his book knocked out of 
his hand !" exclaimed a pursy cit, whose arms were too 
fast pinioned to his side to suffer him to execute his kind 
intention. Still I read on, and, till the time came to 
pay my money, kept as unmoved as Saint Anthony at 
his holy ofl&ces, with the satyrs, apes, and hobgoblins 
moping, and making mouths at him, in the picture; 
while the good man sits as undisturbed at the sight as if 
he were sole tenant of the desert. The individual rabble 
(I recognised more than one of their ugly faces) had 
damned a slight piece of mine but a few nights since ; 
and I was determined the culprits should not a second 
time put me out of countenance. 

We are too apt to indemnify ourselves for some char- 
acteristic excellence we are kind enough to concede to a 
great author by denying him every thing else. Thus 
Donne and Cowley, by happening to possess more wit, 
and fieuiulty of illustration, than other men, are supposed 
to have been incapable of nature or feeling : they are 
usually opposed to such writers as Shenstone and Pamell ; 
whereas, in the very thickest of their conceits, — in the 


bewUdering mazes of tropes and figures,— a warmth of 
soul and generous feeling shines through, the ^^sum'' 
of which, "forty thousand" of those natural poets, as 
they are called, "with all their quantity," could not 
ma^e up. 

"Pray God, your honour relieve me," said a poor 

beads- woman to my friend L one day : "I have seen 

better days." — "So have I, my good woman," retorted 
he, looking up at the welkin, which was just then threaten- 
ing a storm ; and the jest (he will have it) was as good 
to the beggar as a tester. 

It was, at all events, kinder than consigning her to 
the stocks or the parish beadle. 

But L haa a way of viewing things in a para- 
doxical light on some occasions. 

I have in my possession a curious volume of Latin 
verses, which I believe to be unique. It is entitled. 
Alexandri Fvltoni Scoti EpigramTruUorum lihri quinqrie, 
It purports to be printed at Perth, and bears date 1679. 
By the appellation which the author gives himself in the 
preface, hypodidasctUtis, I suppose him to have been an 
usher at some school It is no uncommon thing now-a- 
days for persons concerned in academies to affect a literary 
reputation in the way of their trade. The " master of a 
seminary for a limited number of pupils at Islington" 
lately put forth an edition of that scarce tract, "The 
Elegy in a Country Churchyard " (to use his own words), 
with notes and headlines ! But to our author. These 
epigrams of Alexander Fulton, Scotchman, have little 
remarkable in them besides extreme dulness and insipidity; 
but there is one, which, by its being marshalled in the 
front of the volume, seems to have been the darling of 
its parent, and for its exquisite flatness, and the surpris- 
ing strokes of an anachronism with which it is pointed, 
deserves to be rescued from oblivion. It is addressed, 
like many of the others to a fair one : — 




** Misenmt bella olim Heleim decor atqne veimstas l 

EnTopen inter fragifenmqne Asiam. j 

Tarn bona, qnam tn, tarn pradens, sin ilia faisset, I 
Ad lites issent Africa et ijnerica I'' 

Which, in humble imitation of mine author's peculiar 
poverty of style, I have ventured thus to render into 
English : — 


*' For Love's illostrions cause, and Helen's charms, 
All Europe and all Asia rushed to arms. 
Had she with these thy polished sense combined, 
All Aficic and America had joined 1 " 

The happy idea of an American war undertaken in 
the cause of beauty ought certainly to recommend the 
author's memory to the countrymen of Madison and 
Jefferson ; and the bold anticipation of the discovery of 
that continent in the time of the Trojan War is a flight 
beyond the Sibyl's books. 


A WEiTER, whose real name, it seems, is Boldero^ but 
who has been entertaining the town for the last twelve 
months with some very pleasant lucubrations under the 
assimied signature of Ldgh Kunt^ in his "Indicator" 
of the 31st January last has thought fit to insinuate 
that I, ElicL^ do not write the little sketches which bear 
my signature in this magazine, but that the true author 

of them is a Mr. L b. Observe the critical period 

at which he has chosen to impute the calumny, — on 
the very eve of the publication of our last number, — 
affording no scope for explanation for a full month; 
during which time I must needs lie writhing and tossing 
under the cruel imputation of nonentity. Good Heavens ! 
that a plain man must not be allowed ix> he — 

They call this an age of personality ; but surely this 
spirit of anti-personaUty (if I may so express it) is some- 
thing worse. 

Take away my moral reputation, — I may live to 
discredit that calumny; iigure my literary fame, — I 
may write that up again : but, when a gentleman is 
robbed of his identity, where is he 1 

Other murderers stab but at our existence, a frail 
and perishing trifle at the best : but here is an assassin 
who aims at our very essence ; who not only forbids us to 

^ Clearly a fictitions appellation ; for, if we admit the latter of 
these names to be in a manner English, what is Leigh t Christian 
nomenclature knows no such. 


he any longer, but to have been at alL Let onr ancestois 
look to it. 

Is the parish register nothing) Is the house in 
Princes Street, Cavendish Square, where we saw the 
light six and forty years ago, nothing ? Were our pro- 
genitors from stately Genoa, where we flonnshed four 
centuries back, before the barbarous name of Boldero^ 
was known to a European mouth, nothing) Was the 
goodly scion of our name, transplanted into England 
in the reign of the seventh Henry, nothing) Are the 
archives of the steelyard, in succeeding reigns (if haply 
they survive the fury of our envious enemies), showing 
that we flourished in prime repute, as merchants, down 
to the period of the Commonwealth, nothing ! 

''Why, then the world, and all that's in't, is nothing; 
The covering sky is nothing ; Bohemia nothing." 

I am ashamed that this trifling writer should have 
power to move me so. 

A CORRESPONDENT, who writes himself Peter Ball, or 
Bell, — for his handwriting is as ragged as his manners, — 
admonishes me of the old saying, that some people (under 
a courteous periphrasis, I slur his less ceremonious epithet) 
had need have good memories. In my " Old Benchers of 
the Inner Temple," I have delivered myself, and truly, a 
Templar bom. Bell clamours upon this, and thinketh that 
he hath caught a fox. It seems that in a former paper, 
retorting upon a weekly scribbler who had called my good 
identity in question (see Postscript to my " Chapter on 
Ears"), I profess myself a native of some spot near 
Cavendish Square, deducing my remoter origin from Italy. 
But who does not see, except this tinkling cymbal, that, in 
that idle flction of Genoese ancestry, I was answering a 

^ It is clearly of Transatlantic origin. 


fool according to his folly, — that Elia there expresseth 
himself ironically as to an approved slanderer, who hath 
no right to the truth, and can be no fit recipient of it 1 
Such a one it is usual to leave to his delusions; or, 
leading him from error still to contradictory error, to 
plunge him (as we say) deeper in the mire, and give him 
line till he suspend himself. No understanding reader 
could be imposed upon by such obvious rodomontade to 
suspect me for an alien, or believe me other than 

To a second correspondent, who signs himself "A 
Wiltshire Man," and claims me for a coimtryman upon 
the strength of an equivocal phrase in my "Christ's 
Hospital," a more mannerly reply is due. Passing over 
the Genoese fable, which Bell makes such a ring about, 
he nicely detects a more subtle discrepancy, which Bell 
was too obtuse to strike upon. Eeferring to the passage, 
I must confess, that the term " native town," applied to 
Calne, primd facie seems to bear out the construction 
which my friendly correspondent is willing to put upon 
it. The context too, I am afraid, a little favours it. 
But where the words of an author, taken literally, com- 
pared with some other passage in his writings, admitted 
to be authentic, involve a palpable contradiction, it hath 
been the custom of the ingenuous commentator to smooth 
the difficulty by the supposition that in the one case an 
allegbrical or tropical sense was chiefly intended. So, 
by the word "native," I may be supposed to mean a 
town where I might have been bom, or where it might 
be desirable that I should have been bom, as being situate 
in wholesome air, upon a dry, chalky soil, in which I 
delight ; or a town with the inhabitants of which I passed 
some weeks, a summer or two ago, so agreeably, that 
they and it became in a manner native to me. Without 
some such latitude of interpretation in the present case, 
I see not how we can avoid falling into a gross error in 
physics, as to conceive that a gentleman may be bora in two 
places, from which all modem and ancient testimony is 


alike abhorrent. Bacchus cometh the nearest to it, whom 
I remember Ovid to have honoured with the epithet 
" twice .bom."i But, not to mention that he is so called 
(we conceive) in reference to the places whence rather 
than the places where he was delivered, — ^for, by either 
birth, he may probably be challenged for a Theban, — ^in 
a strict way of speaking, he was a JUitu femoris by no 
means in the same sense as he had been before a JUvus 
alvi; for that latter was but a secondary and tralatitious 
way of being bom, and he but a denizen of the second 
house of his genitura Thus much by way of explanation 
was thought due to the courteous " Wiltshire Man." 

To " Indagator," " Investigator,'' " Incertus," and the 
rest of the pack, that are so importunate about the true 
localities of his birth, — as if, forsooth, Elia were presently 
about to be passed to his parish, — to all such church- 
warden critics he answereth, that, any explanation here 
given notwithstanding, he hath not so fixed his nativity 
(like a rusty vane) to one dull spot, but that, if he seeth 
occasion, or the argument shall demand it, he will be 
bom again, in future papers, in whatever place, and at 
whatever period, shall seem good unto him. 

'' Mod6 me Thebis, mod6 Athenis." 

^ ** Imperfectus adhuc infans genetricis ab alvo 
Eripitur patrioque tener (si credere digniun) 
Insuitur femori. . . . 
Tutaque bis geniti sunt incunabnla Bacchi." 

Metamorph,y lib. ill. 



When I heard of the death of Coleridge, it was without 
grief. It seemed to me that he long had been on the 
confines of the next worid, — that he had a hunger for 
eternity. I grieved then that I could not grieve. But, 
since, I feel how great a part he was of me. His great 
and dear spirit haunts me. I cannot think a thought, I 
cannot make a criticism on men and books, without an 
ineffectual turning and reference to him. He was the 
proof and touchstone of all my cogitations. He was a 
Grecian (or in the first form) at Christ's Hospital, where 
I was Deputy-Grecian ; and the same subordination and 
deference to him I have preserved through a life-long 
acquaintance. Great in his writings, he was greatest in 
his conversation. In him was disproved that old maxim, 
that we should allow every one his share of talk. He 
would talk from mom to dewy eve, nor cease till far 
midnight ; yet who ever would interrupt him 1 who would 
obstruct that continuous flow of converse, fetched from 
Helicon or Zion ? He had the tact of making the unintel- 
ligible seem plain. Many who read the abstruser parts 
of his " Friend " would complain that his words did not 
answer to his spoken wisdom. They were identical But 
he had a tone in oral delivery which seemed to convey 
sense to those who were otherwise imperfect recipients. 
He was my fifty- years -old friend without a dissension. 
Never saw I his likeness, nor probably the world can see 
again. I seem to love the house he died at more passion- 


ately than when he lived. I love the faithful Gillmans 
more than while they exercised their virtues towards him 
living. What was his mansion is consecrated to me a 

Edmonton, Nov, 21, 1834. 




Thebe are, I am told, who sharply criticiae 

Our modem theatres' unwieldy size. 

We players shall scarce plead guilty to that charge, 

Who think a house can never be too large : 

Grieved when a rant, that's worth a nation's ear, 

Shakes some prescribed Lyceum's petty sphere ; 

And pleased to mark the grin from space to spa<^ 

Spread epidemic o'er a town's broad face. 

might old Betterton or Booth return 

To view our structures from their silent um, 

Could Quin come stalking from Elysian glades, 

Or Garrick get a day-rule from the shades, 

Where now, perhaps, in mirth which spirits approve. 

He imitates the ways of men above. 

And apes the actions of our upper coast, 

As in his days of flesh he pla/d the ghost : 

How might they bless our ampler scope to please. 

And hate their own old shrunk-up audiences. 

Their houses yet were palaces to those 

Which Ben and Fletcher for their triumphs chose. 

Shakespeare, who wish'd a kingdom for a stage, 

Like giant pent in disproportion'd cage, 

Moum'd his contracted strengths and crippled rage. 


He who could tame his vast ambition down 

To please some ecatter'd gleanings of a town, 

And if some hundred auditors supplied 

Their meagre meed of claps, was satisfied. 

How had he felt, when that dread curse of Lear's 

Had burst tremendous on a thousand ears, 

While deep-struck wonder from applauding bands 

Betum'd the tribute of as many hands ! 

Eude were his guests ; he never made his bow 

To such an audience as salutes us now. 

He lack'd the balm of labour, female praise. 

Few ladies in his time frequented plays. 

Or came to see a youth with awkward art 

And shrill sharp pipe burlesque the woman's part. 

The very use, since so essential grown, 

Of painted scenes, was to his stage unknown. 

The air-blest castle, round whose wholesome crest, 

The martlet, guest of summer, chose her nest — 

The forest walks of Arden's fair domain. 

Where Jaques fed his soUtary vein,— 

No pencil's aid as yet had dared supply, 

Seen only by the intellectual eye. 

Those scenic helps, denied to Shakespeare's page, 

Our Author owes to a more liberal age. 

Nor pomp nor circumstance are wanting here ; 

'Tis for himself alone that he must fear. 

Yet shall remembrance cherish the just pride, 

That (be the laurel granted or denied) 

He first essay'd in this distinguish'd fane 

Severer muses and a tragic strain. 





" Ladies, yeVe seen how Guzman's consort died, 

Poor victim of a Spanish brother's pride. 

When Spanish honour through the world was blown, 

And Spanish beauty for the best was known.^ 

In that romantic, unenlightened time, 

A bi^edch of promise^ was a sort of crime — 

Which of you handsome English ladies here, 

But deem the penance bloody and severe 1 

A whimsical old Saragossa^ fashion, 

That a dead father's dying inclination 

Should live to thwart a living daughter's passion* 

Uiyustly on the sex we^ men exclaim, 

Rail at t/our^ vices, and commit the same ; — 

Man is a promise-breaker from the womb, 

And goes a promise-breaker to the tomb— 

What need we instance here the lover's vow. 

The sick Man's purpose, or the great man's bow 'i'^ 

The truth by few examples best is shown — 

Instead of many which are better known. 

Take poor Jack Incident, that's dead and gone. 

Jack, of dramatic genius justly vain. 

Purchased a renter's share at Drury Lane ; 

A prudent man in every other matter. 

Known at his club-room for an honest hatter; 

Humane and courteous, led a civil life. 

And has been seldom known to beat his wife ; 

But Jack is now grown quite another man, 

Frequents the green-room, knows the plot and plan 

Of each new piece. 
And has been seen to talk with Sheridan ! 
In at the play-house just at six he pops, 

1 " Four easy lines." ' " For which the heroivs died." 

• In Spain 1 1 * Two rieai lines. ' Or you. 

^ Or (mr, as they have altered it. ^ Antithesis ! I — C. L. 



And never quite it till the curtain drops, 
Ib never absent on the autfun's night, 

Knows actresses and actors too ^by sight ; 

So humble, that with Suett he'll confer. 

Or take a pipe with plain Jack Bannister ; 

Nay, with an author has been known so £ree. 

He once suggested a catastrophe — 

In short, John dabbled till his head was tum'd : 

His wife remonstrated, his neighbours mourned, 

His customers were dropping off apace. 

And Jack's affairs began to wear a piteous face. 

One night his wife began a curtain lecture : 

' My dearest Johnny, husband, spouse, protector, 

Take pity on your helpless babes and me. 

Save us from ruin, you from bankruptcy — 

Look to your business, leave these cursed plays, 

And try again your old industrious ways.' 

Jack, who was always scar'd at the Gazette, 
And had some bits of skull unii\jured yet, 
Promis'd amendment, vow'd his wife spake reason, 

* He would not see another play that season.' 

Three stubborn fortnights Jack his promise kept. 
Was late and early in his shop, eat, slept, 
And walk'd and talk'd, like ordinary men ; 
No m*, but John the hatter once again — 
Visits his club : when lo ! one fatal night 
His wife with horror viewed the well-lmown sight — 
John's hat, vjig, snuff-hox — ^well she knew his tricks — 
And Jack decamping at the hour of six. 
Just at the counter's edge a playbill lay. 
Announcing that * Pizarro ' was the play — 

* Johnny, Johnny, this is your old doing.' 

Quoth Jack, * Why what the devil storm's a-brewing % 

About a harmless play why all this fright 1 

I'll go and see it, if it's but for spite — 

Zounds, woman ! Nelson's^ to be there to-night.' " 

^ " A good clap-trap. Nelson has exhibited two or three times 
at both theatres — and advertised himself." — C. L. 



An Author who has given you all delight 

Furnished the tale our stage presents to-night. 

Some of our earliest tears he taught to steal 

Down our young cheeks, and forced us first to feel. 

To solitary shores whole years confined. 

Who haa not read how pensive Crusoe pined ? 

Who, now grown old, that did not once admire 

His goat, his parrot, his uncouth attire. 

The stick, due notched, that told each tedious day 

That in the lonely island wore away ? 

Who has not shuddered, where he stands aghast 

At sight of himian footsteps in the waste ? 

Or joyed not, when his trembling hands unbind 

Thee, Friday, gentlest of the savage kind ? 

The genius who conceived that magic tale 

Was skiDed by native pathos to prevail. 

Hifl stories, though rough-drawn and framed in haste, 

Had that which pleased our homely grandsires' taste. 

His was a various pen, that freely roved 

Into all subjects, was in most approved. 

Whatever the theme, his ready muse obeyed — 

Love, Courtship, Politics, EeUgion, Trade — 

Gifted alike to shine in every sphere. 

Novelist, Historian, Poet, Pamphleteer. 

In some blest interval of paxty-strife. 

He drew a striking sketch from private life. 

Whose moving scenes of intricate distress 

We try to-night in a dramatic dress : 

A real story of domestic woe. 

That asks no aid from music, verse, or show, 

But trusts to truth, to Nature, and D foe. 



When first our bard his simple will express'd 

That I should in his heroine's robes be dress'd^ 

My feaiB were with my vanily at strife, 

How I could act that untried part — "a wife." 

But Fancy to the Orison hills me drew 

Where Mariana like a wild-flower grew, 

Nursing her garden-kindred : so fey: I 

Liked her condition, willing to comply 

With that sweet single life : when, with a cranch, 

Down came that thimdering, crashing avalanche, 

Startling my moimtain-project ! " Take this spade," 

Said Fancy then, " dig low, adventurous maid. 

For hidden wealth." I did ; and, Ladies, lo 1 

Was e'er romantic female's fortune so, 

To dig a life-warm lover from the snow ? 

A wife and princess see me next, beset 
With subtle toils, in an Italian net. 
While knavish courtiers, stung with rage or fear, 
Distill'd lip-poison in a husband's ear. 
I ponder'd on the boiling Southern vein ; 
Racks, cords, stilettoes, rush'd upon my brain 1 
By poor, good, weak Antonio, too, disownM — 
I dream'd each night I should be Desdemona'd, 
And, being in Mantua, thought upon the shop 
Whence fair Verona's youth his breath did stop : 
And what if Leonardo, in foul scorn. 
Some lean apothecary should suborn 
To take my hated life ? A " tortoise " hung 
Before my eyes, and in my ears scaled " alligators rung." 
But my OtheUo, to his vows more zealous — 
Twenty lagos could not make him jealous 1 

New raised to reputation, and to life — 
At your commands behold me, without strife. 
Well-pleased, and ready to repeat — the " Wife." 



Consummate Artist, whose undying name 

With classic Rogers shall go down to fame. 

Be this thy crowning work ! In my young days 

How often have I with a child's fond gaze 

Pored on the pictured wonders thou hadst done : 

Clarissa mournful, and prim Grandison ! 

All Fielding's, Smollett's heroes, rose to view ; 

I saw, and I believed the phantoms true. 

But, above all, that most romantic tale 

Did o'er my raw credulity prevail, 

Where Glums and Gawries wear mysterious things. 

That serve at once for jackets and for wings. 

Age, that enfeebles other men's designs. 

But heightens thine, and thy free draught refines. 

In several ways distinct you make us feel — 

Cfraceful as Raphael, as Watteau genteel. 

Your lights and shades, as Titianesque, we praise ; 

And warmly wish you Titian's length of days. 


The Gods have made me most unmusical, 

With feelings that respond not to the call 

Of stringed harp or voice—obtuse and mute 

To hautboy, sackbut, dulcimer, and flute ; 

King David's lyre, that made the madness flee 

From Saul, had been but a jeVs-harp to me : 

Theorbos, violins, French horns, guitars, 

Leave in my wounded ears inflicted scars ; 

I hate those trills, and shakes, and sounds that float 

Upon the captive air ; I know no note. 


Nor ever shall, whatever folks may say, 

Of the strange mysteries of Sol and Fa ; 

I sit at oratorios like a fish, 

Incapable of sound, and only wish 

The thing was over. Yet do I admire, 

tuneful daughter of a tuneful sire. 

Thy painful labours in a science, which 

To your deserts I pray may make you rich 

As much as you are loved, and add a grace 

To the most musical Novello race. 

Women lead men by the nose, some cynics say 3 

You draw them by the ear-^a delicater way. 


YouB easy Essays indicate a flow. 

Dear friend, of brain which we may elsewhere seek j 

And to their pages I and hundreds owe. 

That Wednesday is the sweetest of the week. 

Such observation, wit, and sense, are shown, 

We think the days of BickerstaflF returned ; 

And that a portion of that oil you own, 

In his undying midnight lamp which bum'd. 

I would not lightly bruise old Priscian's head 

Or wrong the rules of grammar understood ; 

But, with the leave of Priscian be it Wd, 

The IndicaHve is your Potential Mood. 

Wit, poet, prose-man, party-man, translator — 

H[unt], your best title yet is Indicator, 


All unadvised and in an evil hour. 

Lured by aspiring thoughts, my son, you daft 

The lowly labours of the " Gentle Craft " 



For lowly toils, which blood and spirits sour. 
All things, dear pledge, are not in all men's power ; 
The wiser sort of shrub affects the ground ; 
The sweet content of mind is offcener found 
In cobbler's parlour than in critic's bower. 
The sorest work is what doth cross the grain ; 
And better to this hour you had been plying 
The obsequious awl, with well-wax'd finger flying, 
Than ceaseless thus to till a thankless vein : 
Still teasing muses, which are stiU denying ; 
Making a stretching-leather of your brain. 

8t. CrispirCs Eve, 

In tabttlam extmh piotoeis R. B. Haydoni in qua 


Quid vult Iste Equitans ^ et quid velit ista virorum 
Palmifera ingens turba et yox tremebunda Hosanna ? 
Hosanna Christo semper, semperque canamus. 
Palma fuit senior Pictor celeberrimus olim ; 
Sed palmam cedat, modo si.foret iUe superstes 
Palma Haydone tibi : tu palmas omnibus aufers. 
Palma negata macrum, donataque reddit opimum 
Si simul incipiat cum fama increscere corpus 
Tu cito pinguesces, fies et, amicule, obesus. 
Aflectant lauros pictores atque poetae. 
Sin laurum invideant (sed quis tibi ?) laurigerentes 
Pro lauro palma viridanti tempora cinge. 



What rider's that 1 and who those myriads bringing 
Him on his way, with palms, Hosanna singing ? 
Hosanna to Christ ! Heayen, Earth, shall still be ringing. 


In days of old, Old Palma won renown : 

But Palma's self must yield the {^inter's crown, 

Haydon, to thee : Thy palms put every other down. 

If Flaccus' sentence with the truth agree. 
That palms awarded make men plump to be. 
Friend Horace, Haydon soon shall match in bulk with 

Painters with poets for the laurel vie ; 

But should the laureate band thy claims deny. 

Wear thou thine own green palm, Haydon, triumphantly. 



Though thou'rt like Judas, an apostate black, 
In the resemblance one thing thou dost lack ; 
When he had gotten his ill-purchased pelf, 
He went away, and wisely hanged himself. 
This thou ma/st do at last ; yet much I doubt, 
If thou hast any bowels to gush out ! 


lo ! Psean ! lo ! sing, 
To the finny people's king. 
Not a mightier whale than this 
In the vast Atlantic is ; 
Not a fatter fish than he 
Flounders round the Polar sea. 
See his blubber ! — at his gills 
What a world of drink he swills ! 
From his trunk, as from a spout. 
Which next moment he pours out. 

Such his person. — Next declare, 
Muse, who his companions are : — 
Every fish of generous kind . 
Scuds aside, or slinks behind : 
But about his presence keep 
AH the monsters of the deep ; 


Mermaids, with their tails and singing, 
His delighted fimcy stinging ; 
Crooked dolphins, they surround him ; 
Dog-like seals, they fawn around him ; 
Following haid, the progress mark 
Of the intolerant salt-sea shark : 
For his solace and relief 
Flat fish are his courtiers chief; 
Last, and lowest in his train. 
Ink-fish (libellers of the main) 
Their black liquor shed in spite : 
(Such on earth the things that unite.) 
In his stomach, some do say, 
No good thing can ever stay : 
Had it been the fortune of it 
To have swallow'd that old prophet^ 
Three days there he'd not haye dwell'd, 
But in one have been expell'd. 
Hapless mariners are they, 
Who beguiled (as seamen say) 
Deeming him some rock or island, 
Footing sure, safe spot, and dry laud, 
Anchor in his scaly rind- 
Soon the di£ference they find ; 
Sudden, plumb ! he sinks beneath them, — 
Does to ruthless seas bequeath them ! 

Name or title what has he 1 
Is he Regent of the Sea f 
From this difficulty free us, 
Buffon, Banks, or sage Linnaeus. 
With his wondrous attributes 
Say what appellation suits 1 
By his bulk, and by his size. 
By his oily qualities, 
This (or else my eyesight fails). 
This should be the Prince of WAalea. 

R. ET R. 



Close by the ever-burning brimstone beds 
Where Bedloe, Oates, and Judas hide their heads, 
I saw great Satan like a Sexton stand 
With his intolerable spade in hand 
lagging three graves. Of cofl&n shape they were, 
For those who coflSnless must enter there 
With unblest rites. The shrouds were of that cloth 
Which Olotho weaveth in her blackest wrath : 
The dismal tinct oppressed the eye that dwelt 
Upon it long, like cUurkness to be felt. 
The pillows to these baleful beds were toads, 
Large, living, livid, melancholy loads, 
Whose softness shock'd. Worms of all monstrous size 
Crawl'd round ; and one, upcoil'd, which never dies. 
A doleful bell, inculcating despair. 
Was always ringing in the heavy air; 
And all about the detestable pit 
Strange headless ghosts, and quartered forms did flit ; 
Rivers of blood from dripping traitors spilt. 
By treachery slung from poverty to guilt. 
I ask'd the fiend for whom those rites were meant 1 
" These graves," quoth he, " when life's brief oil is spent, 
When the dark night comes, and they're sinking bed- 
I mean for Castles, Oliver, and Edwards." 

R. KT R. 



Ye Politicians, tell me, pray. 
Why thus with woe and care rent ? 
This is the worst that you can say. 
Some wind has blown the Wig away. 
And left the Hair Apparent, R. et R. 




Point still the spots, to hallowed wedlock dear, 
Where rested on its solemn way the bier, 
That bore the bones of Edward's Elinor 
To mix with Royal dust at Westminster. — 
Far different rites did thee to dust consign, 
Duke Brunswick's daughter, princely CaroHne, 
A hurried funeral, and a baiiish'd grave, 
High-minded wife ! were aU that thou couldst have. 
Grieve not, great ghost, nor count in death thy losses ; 
Thou in thy life-time had'st thy share of crosses, 


MnoH speech obscures the sense ; the soul of wit 

Is brevity : our tale one proof of it. 

Poor Balbulus, a stammering invalid. 

Consults the doctors, and by them is bid 

To try sea-bathing, with this special heed, 

'^ One dip was all his malady did need ; 

More than that one his certain death would be.'' 

Now who so nervous or so shook as he. 

For Balbulus had never dipped before 1 

Two well-known dippers, at the Broadstairs' shore, 

Stout sturdy churls, have stript him to the skin, 

And naked, cold, and shivering plunge him in. 

Soon he emerges with scarce breath to say, 

" I'm to be dip-dip-dipt ." " We know it," they 

Reply. Expostulation seemed in vain. 
And over ears they souse him in again ; 
And up again he rises ; his words trip, 
And falter as before, StiU " dip-dip-dip " — 
And in he goes again with furious plunge. 
Once more to rise ; when with a desperate lunge 


At length he bolts these words out, " oftdy once /" 
The villains crave his pardon. Had the dunce 
But aimed at these bare words the rogues had found him ; 
But striving to be prolix, they half-drowned him. 




To delicate bosoms, that have sighed over the Loves of the Angels, 
this poem is with tenderest regard consecrated. It can be no offence 
to yon, dear ladies, that the author has endeavoured to extend the 
dominion of yonr darling passion; to show love triumphant in 
places, to which his advent has been never yet suspected. If one 
Cecilia drew an Angel down, another may have leave to attract a 
spirit upwards ; which, I am sure, Was the most desperate adventure 
of the two. Wonder not at the inferior condition of the agent ; for, if 
King Cophetua wooed a beggar-maid, a grea'ter king need not scorn 
to confess the attractions of a fair tailor's daughter. The more 
disproportionate the rank, the more signal is the glory of your sex. 
Like that of Hecate, a triple empire is now confessed your own. 
Nor Heaven, nor Earth, nor deepest tracts of Erebus, as Milton hath 
it, have power to resist your sway. I congratulate your last victory. 
You have fairly made an honest man of the Old One ; and, if your 
conquest is late, the success must be salutary. The new Benedick 
has employment enough on his hands to desist fh)m dabbling with 
the affairs of poor mortals ; he may fairly leave human nature to 
herself ; and we may sleep for one while at least secure from the 
attacks of this hitherto restless Old Bachelor. It remains to be 
seen, whether the world will be much benefited by the change in 
his condition. 



The Devil was sick and queasy of late. 

And his sleep and his appetite fail'd him ; 
His ears they hung down, and his tail it was clapp'd 
Between his poor hoofs, like a dog that's been rapp'd — 
None knew what the devil ail'd him. 



He tumbled and toss'd on his mattress o' nights. 

That was fit for a fiend's disportal ; 
For 'twas made of the finest of thistles and thorn. 
Which Alecto herself had gather'd in scorn 
Of the best down beds that are mortal 


His giantly chest in earthquakes heaved, 

With groanings corresponding ; 
And mincing and few were the words he spoke, 
While a sigh, like some delicate whirlwind, broke 

From a heart that seem'd desponding. 


Now the Devil an old wife had for his dam. 

I think none e'er was older : 
Her years — old Parr's were nothing to them ; 
And a chicken to her was Methusalem, 

You'd say, could you behold her. * 


She remember'd Chaos a little child, 

Strumming upon hand organs ; 
At the birth of Old Night a gossip she sat, 
'The ancientest there, and was godmother at 

The christening of the Gorgons. 


Her bones peep'd through a rhinoceros' skin. 

Like a mummy's through its cerement ; 
But she had a mother's heart, and guess'd 
What pinch'd her son ; whom she thus address'd 
In terms that bespoke endearment. 


" What ails my Nicky, my darling Imp, 
My Lucifer bright, my Beelze 1 


My Pig, my Pug-with-Murly-taU, 
You are not welL Can a mother fail 
To Bee e^ which all Hell see?' 


" mother dear, I am dying, I fear ; 

Prepare the yew, and the willow. 
And the cypress black : for I get no ease 
By day or by night for the cursed fleas 

That skip about my pillow." 


" Your pillow is clean, and your pillow-beer, 
For I washed 'em in Styx last night, son. 

And your blankets both, and dried them upon 

The brimstony banks of Acheron — 
It is not the fleas that bite, son." 


"01 perish of cold these bitter sharp nights, 

The damp like an ague ferrets ; 
The ice and the frost hath shot into the bone ; 
And I care not greatly to sleep alone 

0' nights — for the fear of spirits." 


" The weather is warm, my own sweet boy, 
And the nights are close and stifling ; 
And for fearing of spirits, you cowardly elf — 
Have you quite forgot you're a spirit yourself] 
Come, come, I see you are trifling. 


" I wish my Nicky is not in love — " 
" mother, you have nick'd it — " 
And he tum'd his head aside with a blush — 
Not red hot pokers or crimson plush, 
Could half so deep have prick'd it. 



" These twenty thousand good years or more," 
Quoth he, *' on this burning shingle 
I have led a lonesome bachelor's life, 
Nor known the comfort of babe or wife — 
'Tis a long time to live single." 


Quoth she, " If a wife is all you want, 

I shall quickly dance at your wedding. 
I am dry nurse, you know, to the female ghosts- 


And she call'd up her charge, and they came in hosts 
To do the old beldam's bidding : 


All who in their lives had been servants of sin — 

Adulteress, wench, virago — 
And murd'resses old that had pointed the knife 
Against a husband's or father's life. 

Each one a she lago. 


First Jezebel came — no need of paint 

Or dressing to make her charming ; 
For the blood of the old prophetical race 
Had heighten'd the natural flush of her face 

To a pitch 'bove rouge or carmine. 


Semiramis there low tender'd herself. 

With all Babel for a dowry : 
With Helen, the flower and the bane of Greece — 
And bloody Medea next offer'd her fleece, 

That was of Hell the houri. 


Clytemnestra, with Joan of Naples, put in ; 
Cleopatra, by Antony quicken'd j 



Jocasta, that married where she should not. 
Came hand in hand with the daughters of Lot, 
'Till the Devil was fairly sicken'd. 


For the Devil himself, a devil as he is, 

Disapproves unequal matches. i 

" mother," he cried, " despatch them hence ; I 

No spirit — I speak it without offence — 

Shall have me in her hatches." i 


With a wave of her wand they all were gone ! 

And now came out the slaughter : 
" 'Tis none of these that can serve my turn ; 
For a. wife of flesh and blood I bum — 

I'm in love with a tailor's daughter. 


" 'Tis she must heal the wounds that she made, 

'Tis she must be my physician, 
parent mild, stand not my foe — " 
For his mother had whispePd something low 

About " matching beneath his condition." 


" And then we must get paternal consent. 
Or an unblest match may vex ye." 

" Her father is dead ; I fetch'd him away. 

In the midst of his goose last Michaelmas day- 
He died of an apoplexy. 


« His daughter is fair, and an only heir- 

With her I long to tether — 
He has left her his JieU^ and all that he had ; 
The estates are contiguous, and I shall be mad 

'TiU we lay our two hells together." 




" But how do you know the fair maid's mind 1" 

Quoth he, " Her loss was but recent ; 
And I could not speak my mind, you know, 
Just when I was fetching her father below — 
It would have been hardly decent 


** But a leer from her eye, where Cupids lie, 

Of love gave proof apparent ; 
And, from something she dropped, I shrewdly ween'd, 
In her heart she judged that a living Fiend 

Was better than a dead Parent, 


" But the time is short ; and suitors may come 

While I stand here reporting ; 
Then make your son a bit of a beau, 
And give me your blessing before I go 

To the other world a-courting." 


" But what will you do with your horns, my son ] 
And that tail — ^fair maids will mock it — " 

" My tail I will dock — and as for the horn, 

Like husbands above, I think no scorn 
To carry it in my pocket." 


" But what will you do with your feet, my son V* 

" Here are stockings fairly woven : 
My hoofs I wiU hide in silken hose ; 
And cinnamon-sweet are my pettitoes — 

Because, you know, they are doven.^^ 


" Then take a blessing, my darling son," 
Quoth she and kissed him dvil — 


Then his neckcloth she tied ; and when he waa drest 
From top to toe in his Sunday's best, 
He appeared a comely devil. 


So his leave he took : but how he fared 

In his courtship — barring failures — 
In a Second Part you shall read it soon, 
In a brand-new song, to be sung to the tune 

Of the " Devil among the Tailors." 




Who is she that by night from her balcony looks 
On a garden where cabbage is springing ? 

'Tis the tailor's fair lass, that we told of above ; 

She muses by moonlight on her true love ; 
So sharp is Cupid's stinging. 


She has caught a glimpse of the Prince of the Air 

In his Luciferian splendour, 
And away with coyness and maiden reserve 1 
For none but the Devil her turn will serve^ 

Her sorrows else will end her. 


She saw when he fetch'd her father away, 

And the sight no whit did shake her ; 
For the Devil may sure with his own make free — 
And " it saves besides," quoth merrily she, 
'' The expense of an undertaker. 



" Then come, my Satan, my darling Sin, 

Betum to my arms, my Hell beau ; 
My Prince of Darkness, my crow-black dove — " 
And she scarce had spoke, when her own true love 

Was kneeling at her elbow I 


But she wist not at first that this was he, 
That had raised such a boiling passion ; 

For his old costume he had laid aside, 

And was come to court a mortal bride 
In a coat-and-waistcoat fashion. 


She miss'd his large horns, and she miss'd his fair tail. 

That had hung so retrospective ; 
And his raven plumes, and some other marks 
Begarding his feet, that had left their sparks 

In a mind but too susceptive : 


And she held it scorn that a mortal bom 

Should the Prince of Spirits rival. 
To clamber at midnight her garden fence— 
For she knew not else by what pretence 

To account for his arrival 


" What thief art thou," quoth she, " in the dark 

That stumblest here presumptuous ? 
Some Irish adventurer I take you to be — 
A foreigner, from your garb I see, 

Which besides is not over sumptuous." 


Then Satan, awhile dissembling his rank, 
A piece of amorous fun tries : 


Quoth he, " I'm a Netherlander bom ; 
Fair virgin, receive not my suit with scorn ; 
I'm a Prince in the Low Countries— 


" Though I travel incog. From the Land of Fog 

And Mist I am come to proffer 
My crown and my sceptre to lay at your feet ; 
It is not every day in the week you may meet, 

Fair maid, with a Prince's offer." 


" Your crown and your sceptre I like full well. 
They tempt a poor maiden's pride, sir ; 

But your lands and possessions — excuse if I'm rude — 

Are too far in a northerly latitude 
For me to become your bride, sir. 


" In that aguish clime I should catch my death, 

Being but a raw new-comer — " 
Quoth he, " We have plenty of fuel stout ; 
And the fires, which I kindle, never go out 

By winter, nor yet by summer. 


" I am Prince of HeU, and Lord Paramount 

Over monarchs there abiding. 
My groom of the stables is Nimrod old ; 
And Nebuchadnazor my stirrups must hold, 

When I go out a-riding. 


" To spare your blushes, and maiden fears, 

I resorted to these inventions — 
But, imposture, begone ; and avaunt, disguise !'* 
And the Devil began to swell and rise 

To his own diabolic dimensions. ' 



Twin horns from his forehead shot up to the moon, 

Like a branching stag in Arden ; 
Dusk wings through his shoulders with eagle's strength 
Push'd out ; and his train lay floundering in length 

An acre beyond the garden. — 


To tender hearts I have framed my lay — 

Judge ye, all love-sick maidens, 
When the virgin saw in the soft moonlight, 
In his proper proportions, her own true knight, 

If she needed long persuadings. 


Yet a maidenly modesty kept her back, 

As her sex's art had taught her : 
For " the biggest fortunes," quoth she, " in the land 
Are not worthy," then blush'd, "of your Highnesses hand, 

Much less a poor tailor's daughter. 


" There's the two Miss Orockfords are single stiU, 

For whom great suitors hunger ; 
And their father's hell is much larger than mine." 
Quoth the Devil, " I've no such ambitious design, 

For their dad is an old fishmonger ; 


" And I cannot endure the smell of fish — 

I have taken an anti-bias 
To their livers, especially since the day 
That the Angel smoked my cousin away 

From the chaste spouse of Tobias. 


" Had my amorous kinsman much longer stay'd, 
The perfume would have seal'd his obit ; 


For he had a nicer nose than the wench. 
Who cared not a pin for the smother and stench, 
In the arms of the son of Tobit." 


" I have read it," quoth she, " in Apocryphal Writ — " 

And the Devil stoop'd down and kiss'd her ; 
Not Jove himself, when he courted in flame. 
On Semele's lips, the love-scorch'd dame, 
Impressed such a burning blister. 


The fire through her bones and her vitals shot— 

" 0, I yield, my winsome marrow — 
I am thine for life " — and black thunders roird — 
And she sank in his arms through the garden mould. 

With the speed of a red-hot arrow. 


Merrily, merrily, ring the bells 

From each Pandemonian steeple ; 
For the Devil hath gotten his beautiful bride, 
And a wedding dinner he will provide. 

To feast all kinds of people. 


Fat bulls of Basan are roasted whole, 

Of the breed that ran at David ; 
With the flesh of goats, on the sinister side, 
That shall stand apart, when the world is tried ; 

Fit meat for souls unsavM ! 


The fowl from the spit were the Harpies' brood. 

Which the bard sang near Cremona, 
With a garnish of bats in their leathern wings imp'd ; 
And the fish was — ^two delicate slices crimp'd. 

Of the whale that swallow'd Jonah. 




Then the goblets were crown'd, and a health went round 

To the bride, in a wine like scarlet ; 
No earthly vintage so deeply paints. 
For 'twas dash'd with a tinge from the blood of the saints 

By the Babylonian Harlot. 


No Hebe fair stood cup-bearer there, 

The guests were their own skinkers ; 
But Bishop Judas first blest the can, 
Who is of all Hell Metropolitan, 

And kiss'd it to all the drinkers. 


The feast being ended, to dancing they went, 

To music that did produce a 
Most dissonant sound, while a hellish glee 
Was sung in parts by the Furies Three ; 

And the Devil took out Medusa. 


But the best of the sport was to hear his old dam. 

Set up her shrill forlorn pipe — 
How the withered Beldam hobbled about, 
And put the rest of the company out — 

For she needs must try a hornpipe. 


But the heat, and the press, and the noise, and the din, 

Were so great, that, howe'er unwilling, 
Our reporter no longer was able to stay, 
But came in his own defence away, 

And left the bride quadrilling. 


Mrs. Leicester's School (p. 1). — London, printed for M. J. 
Godwin, at the Juvenile Library, No. 41 Skinner Street, 1807. 
The joint composition of Charles and Mary Lamb, the three 
stories, Maria Howe, Siisan Votes, and Arabella Hardy, being 
by Charles, and the remainder by Mary. No mention is to be 
found in Lamb's letters of the origin of this work ; but it was 
certainly written at the suggestion of Godwin, for his series of 
Children's books. It is interesting to trace in the scenes and 
incidents of the various stories recollections of the childish 
days of the brother and sister. The pretty village of Amwell, 
where the school is placed, was only some five miles from 
Blakesware. The story called The Young Mahometan contains 
Mary Lamb's own recollections of the old Family Seat of the 
Plumers, and her reference to the marble hall, the twelve 
Csesars, the Hogarth prints, and the picture of the young 
shepherdess, may be put side by side with her brother's essay, 

** Blakesmoor in H shire," and other allusions in letter and 

essay to the old mansion. The Witch Aurvt (absurdly altered 
in modem editions to the much less expressive ** Effect of 
Witch Stories "), is the first sketch of an experience afterwards 
elaborated by Lsimb in the Elia Essay, Witckes amd other Night 
Fears. Susan Yates, the scene of which is laid in a village in 
the Lincolnshire Fens, was probably derived from the early 
recollections of old John Lamb, who had originally come up to 
London from Lincolnshire a poor boy to enter service, and 
who when he came in after years to live in the Temple would 
naturally love to compare the grotesque faces "in the round 
tower 01 the Temple Church " with those in the old Minster 
Church of his native county. The Changeling is curious as 
illustrating the strong Shakspearian bias of the writers, as 
shown in their resorting to the expedient of a play within a 
play, whereby to "catch the conscience" of the delinquent 
nurse. Perhaps the most perfect of the stories, in point of 
delicacy and humour, are The Sea Voyage of Charles and The 

394 NOTES. 

FaJOiej'a Weddina-Day of Maiy. It was the latter whicb. was 
Walter Savage Landor*8 special favourite. We have LamVs 
own authorilr for the respectiye authorship of the yarloiis tales. 
"I wrote only the fFitm Aunt; the First going to Chwrch; 
and the final story about ' a little Indian girl ' in a ship." 

The Adventures of Ulysses (p. 89). — 1808. Another contri- 
bution to Godwin's Juvenile Library. Lamb writes to Manning 
in February 1808 : — " I have done two books since the failure 
of my farce ; they will both be out this summer. The one is a 
juvenile book — * The adventures of Ulysses,' intended to be an 
introduction to the reading of Telemachus ! It is done oat of 
the Odyssey, not from the Greek — I would not mislead you — 
nor yet from Pope*s Odyssey, but from an older translation of 
one Chapman. The ' Shakspeare Tales ' suggested the doing it" 
Again, in 1827, writing to jBarton, he asks : — "Did you ever 
read my 'Adventures of Ulysses,' founded on Chapman's old 
translation of it, for children or men f Chapman is divine^ and 
my abridgment has not quite emptied him of his divinity." 
Traces of Chapman may be discovered in abundance in Lamb's 
version, extending to a repetition of misprints in Chapman 
which even down to the present day have not been corrected. 
The Homeric river-epithet ** Fair-flowing" was personified by 
Chapman into a river goddess, which we may suppose he 
intended to write " Callirhoe," but which by a printer's error 
became "Callicoe," in which shape it strangely appears in 
Lamb's copy. But Lamb's Greek was not his strong point 
For the rest, he frequently borrows whole lines of Chapman's 
version, as in the story of iEolus — 

" Only he left abroad the western wind ; " 

in that of Polyphemus — 

** Which that abhorred No-man did put out, 
Assisted by his execrable rout," 

and so forth, giving to his narrative a rhythm and diction 
pleasantly old-fashioned. There seems no reason why the 
version should not again become a favourite schoolroom story- 
book, and form as pleasant an introduction to the Odyssey 
as the Tales from Shakspeare have been, and still are, to the 
study of our English poet 

Ghiy Faux (p. 180). — {London Magazine, November 1823.) The 
latter portion of this paper first appeared in Leigh Hunt's 
Reflector in 1811, under the following title, "On the probable 
effects of the Gunpowder Treason in this country, if the 
Conspirators had accomplished their object." It began with 
the paragraph on p. 183, "The Gunpowder Treason was the 

— i 

NOTBS. 395 

Bubjecti" etc. etc. Lamb revived it with additions twelve years 
later in the I/yndcm MagaainSf d propos of an article of Hazlitt's 
(the ** ingenious and sabtle writer " alluded to) in the JExamvner 
of November 1821. 

On Ihe Oustom o/Misaing at the Theatres (p. 192).— (The Reflec- 
tor ^ No. iii, Art xi., 1811). A reminiscence of the failure of Mr, 
H. at Dmry Lane in 1806. The Findictwe Mam, was a play of 
Holcroft's produced in November 1806, only three weeks before 
Lamb's equally unsuccessful venture. The condemnation of 
Holcroft's play is fuUy and amusingly described by Lamb in a 
letter to Manning of December 5, 1806. Mr. De Camp, who 
played Goldfinch, a character revived from Holcroft's ijoad to 
Ruin^ "was hooted, more than hissed ; hooted and bellowed off 
the stage before the second act was finished, so that the remainder 
of his part was forced to be, with some violence to the play, 
omitted." The play, according to Lamb, "died in part of its 
own weakness, and in part for being choked up with bad actors. " 
It was acted only twice. 

The Good Clerk (p. 200).— (The Befl£Ct&r, No. iv.. Art. xxiii., 

The Reynolds Gallery (p. 207). — (The Examiner, June 6, 
1818.) An exhibition of the works of Reynolds, first suggested 
by a "lover of the arts " at the Royal Academy dinner in 1811. 
" It was warmly applauded by the Prince Regent, who was pre- 
sent, and who offered to contribute several works by the late 
president in his own possession. This commeirioration of 
Reynolds took place in 1818, when 113 of his works were 
gathered together for exhibition to the public, and included 
some of his finest productions. It was inaugurated by a banquet 
at WiIliB*s Rooms at which the Prince Regent was present, and 
at which all who were distinguished in position and associated 
with the encouragement of the arts were specially invited to 
attend. This was the first public exhibition of the works of 
any individual British artist " (Sandby's History of the Royal 
Academy. London, 1862). 

WordsvjorQCs Excursion (p. 210). — {Qtuxrterly Review, October 
1814.) Jeffrey's famous notice of the Excursion, beginning 
"This will never do," appeared in the Edinburgh Review of 
November 1814, and by a nappy coincidence Lamb's appeared 
in the corresponding number of the Quarterly. Just be&re its 
publication Lamb wrote to Wordsworth asking for indul^nce 
on the ground that it was the first review he had ever written. 
"I hope," he says, "you will see good-will in the thinff. I 
had a difficulty to perform not to m&e it all panegyric ; I nave 

396 NOTES. 

attempted to penonate a mere stranger to yon, perhaps with 
too much strangeness. But yon mnst bear that in mind when 
yon read it, and not think that I am in mind distant from yon or 
your poem, but that both are close to me, among the nearest of 
persons and things. . . . But," he concludes, *'it mujst speak 
for itself, if Gififord and his crew do not put words in its mouthy 
which I suspect." This ominous hint was only too literally to 
be fulfilled. Immediately after the appearance of the Qtuirterly 
Lamb wrote again to his friend, this tmie in dismay : — ''I told 
you my review was a very imperfect one. But what you will see 
in the Quarterly is a spurious one, which Mr. Baviad Gifford has 
pEdmed upon it for mine. I never felt more vexed in my life 
than when I read it. I cannot give you an idea of what he has 
done to it, out of spite at me, because he once suffered me to be 
called a lunatic in his JReview, The lancfttage he has altered 
throughout. Whatever inadequateness it had to its subject it 
was, in point of composition, the prettiest piece of prose I ever 
writ ; and so my sister (to whom alone I read the MS.) said. 
That charm, if it had any, is all gone ; more than a third of the 
substance is cut away, and that not all from one place, but 
passim, so as to make utter nonsense. Every warm expression 
is changed for a nasty cold one. I have not the cursed altera- 
tion by me ; I shall never look at it again ; but, for a specimen, 
I remember I had said the poet of the Excursion * walks throngh 
common forests as through some Dodona or enchanted wood, 
and every casual bird that flits upon the boughs, like that 
miraculous one in Tasso, but in language more piercing than 
any articulate sounds, reveals to him far higher love-lays. ' It 
is now (besides half a dozen alterations in the same half dozen 
lines) 'but in language more ivteUigervt reveals to him;' that 
is one I remember." There is much more in the same letter on 
the subject that will be read with interest. In spite of Gifford's 
alterations there are passages in the Eevievj, as it appeared, that 
are unmistakably Lamb's, and could have been written by no 
other hand. The beautiful sentence about those who "never 
having possessed the tenderness and docility " of the childish 
age, "know not what the soul of a child is, how apprehensive, 
how imaginative, how religious," is unquestionably a "sweet 
forewarning" of one of the most affecting passages in the Elia 
Essay "New Year's Eve." 

As I have elsewhere remarked, much of Lamb's praise may 
seem commonplace compared with the able and sympathetic 
Wordsworthian criticism that has been produced in the last 
seventy years. But, as usual, he was among the first to recog- 
nise a really good thing, while the world's eyes were still closed. 
It is the timeliness of his appreciation that should win our 

NOTES. 397 

ThecUricdl Notices (p. 226). — The three following theatrical 
criticisms appeared in the columns of the Examiner with the 
signature, four asterisks (* * * *), adopted by Lamb in his' com- 
munications to that journal. To the third ot these anonymous 
articles {New pieces at the Lyceum)^ Leigh Hunt prefixed an 
editorial note, pointing to a special and distinguished author- 
ship. He speaks of **an impudent rogue of a friend whose 
most daring tricks and pretences carry as good a countenance 
with them as virtues in any other man, and who has the face 
above all to be a better critic than ourselves." 

The letter about Miss Kelly was originally addressed to 
Lamb's old schoolfellow and friend John Matthew Gutch, for 
a long time editor of Farley's Bristol Jowmal. Leigh Hunt 
prefaced the letter, in copying it into the .Ecamiwer, as follows : 
— "The reader we are sure will thank us for extracting the 
following observations on a favourite actress from a provincial 
paper, me Bristol Jourrval. We should have guessed the 
masterly and cordial hand that wrote them had we met with 
it in the East Indies. There is but one praise belonging to 
Miss Kelly which it has omitted and which it could not supply ; 
and that is, that she has had finer criticism written upon her 
than any performer that ever trod the stage." 

First Fruits of AusPralian Poetry (p. 235.) — {Examiner^ January 
16, 1820. ) A collection of verse, printed for private circulation, 
by Lamb's old friend, Barron Field, who was Judge of the 
Supreme Court at Sydney, New South Wales, from 1816 to 
1824. The poems afterwards appeared as an appendix to a 
volume of geographical memoirs, published by Murray, in 1825. 
Compare Lamb's Elia Essay, DistaM Correspondents, 

The Gentle Giantess (p. 238). — {LoTidon Magazine, December 
1822. ) Although Lamb domiciles the widow Blacket at Oxford, 
her original womd seem to have belonged to the sister University. 
It can hardly be coincidence that Lamb thus writes in the 
same year to Miss Wordsworth of a certain stout lady at 
Cambridge : — " Ask anybody you meet who is the biggest 
woman in Cambridge, and I'll hold you a wager they'llsay 
Mrs. Smith. She broke down two benches in Trinity Gardens, 
one on the confines of St. John's, which occasioned a litigation 
between the Societies as to repairing it. In warm weather she 
retires into an ice-cellar (literally I) and dates the returns of the 
years from a hot Thursday some twenty years back. She sits 
in a room with opposite doors and windows, to let in a thorough 
draught, which gives her slenderer friends toothaches. " 

On a Passage in the T&tnpest (p. 242). — {London Magazine, 
November 1823. ) Lamb's citation from Ogilby is nojeu d'espHt, 

398 NOTES. 

but a genuine transcript. There can be little doubt that an 
early version of this story was known to Shakspeare. The 
siege of Algiers took place in 1542, and all the authorities cited 
by Ogilby wrote before Shakspeare's day. In company with 
Mr. Aldis Wright, I have referred to many of these in the 
library of Trinity College Cambridge, but as yet haye not 
found any mention of the witch incident. 

Letter to an old Oentleman whose Eduoaium has been neglected 
(p. 260).— ^London Magazine^ January 1825.) The papers here 
mayfully imitated are of course De Quincey's ^' letters to a 
Young Man whose Education has been neglected," which appeared 
first in the London Magcueme. Lamb has not attempted to 
parody more than the introductory passages of De Quincey's 
first letter, and here and there the solemn sententiousness of 
the orifinaL The *' first question" addressed to De Quincey, 
**"Whetner to you, with your purposes, and at your a^e of 
thirty-two, a residence at either of our English universities or 
at any foreign university can be of much service ?" is veiy 
humorously paralleled by the supposed question of Lamb s 
correspondent ** Whether a person at the age of sixty-three, 
with no more proficiency than a tolerable knowledge of most 
of the characters of the English alphabet at first sight amounts 
to . . . may hope to arrive, within a presumable number of 
years, at that decree of attainments wnich shall entitle the 
possessor to the character, which you are on so many accounts 
justly desirous of acquiring, of a learned man" Laonb writes 
to Miss Hutchinson tnat " De Quincey's parody was submitted 
to bim before being printed, and had hia praba^tivm," 

Biographical Mernoir of Mr, Liston (p. 253). — {London Maga- 
xine, January 1825.) See letter of Lamb to Miss Hutchinson of 
January 25, 1825. ** Did you read the Memoir of Liston^ and 
did you guess whose it was ? Of all the lies I ever put off, 
I value this most. It is from top to toe, every paragrapn, pure 
invention, and has passed for gospel ; has been repubushed in 
newspapers, and in the penny play-bills of the night, as an 
authentic account. I shall certainly go to the naughty man 
some day for my fibbings." So again, to Bernard Barton : — 
** 1 have caused great speculation in the dramatic (not thy) 
world by a lying *Life of Listen,' all pure invention. The 
town has swallowed it, and it is copied mto newspapers, play- 
bills, etc., as authentic. You do not know the droll, and 
possibly missed reading the article (in our first number, new 
series). A life more improbable for him to have lived would 
not easily be invented." 

Autobiography qf Mr, Mwnden (p. 2C2). — (London Magazine, 

NOTES. 399 

February 1825. ) ** He wrote in the same Magazine two lives of 
Liston and Munden which the public took for serious, and 
which exhibit an extraordinary jumble of imaginary facts and 
truth of bye-painting. Munden he made bom at Stoke Pogis, 
the very sound of which was like the actor speaking and 
digging his words" (Leigh Hunt's Autobiography, chap, 

Befiections in the Pillory (p. 266). — {London Magazine, 
March 1826.) 

The LoLSt Peach (p. 271). — (London Magazine, April 1825.) 
A reminiscence, apparently of the old mansion of the Plumei*s 
at Blakesware, and of Lamb's summer holiday spent there with 

his grandmother. See Elia Essay, Bldkesmoor in H shire, 

and my notes upon it. The *'hot feel of the brickwork" is 
another exquisite touch to be added to the ** sulky pike" and 
the " solitary wasp" in that delightful picture. 

The IllustrUms Defunct (p. 274). — {New Monthly Magazine, 
1825.) When Lamb wrote this admirable essay, the State- 
lottery system was, as he says, '* moribund," but not yet 
extinct. It came to an end in the following year. In the 
number of Hone's Every-Day Book for November 15, 1826, 
will be found some most amusing particulars of the event, and 
the expiring efforts of the ticket-sellers to advertise their wares. 
** Positively the last lottery that will ever be drawn in England. 
All lotteries end for ever, 18 October." Hone gives a copy 
of a pictorial advertisement, representing a fishwoman, sitting 
down by the side of her basket aiid reading a printed bill — 
** What's the odds?" she says, ** while I am floundering here 
the goldfish will be gone ; and as I always was a dab at hooking 
the right numbers, I must cast for a share of the six £30,000 
on the 18th of July ; for it is but 'giving a sprat to catch a 
herring,' as a body may say, and it is the last chance we shall 
have in England." In after days, Hone adds, this may be 
looked on with interest as a specimen of the means to which 
the lottery-schemers were reduced in order to attract attention 
to "the last" 

The Beligion of Actors {p, 281). — {New MorUhly Magazine, 
1826.) "A little thing without name will also be printed 
on the Religion of the Actors, but it is out of your way, so I 
recommend you, with true author's hypocrisy, to skip it " (Lamb 
to Bernard Barton, March, 1826). 

The Months (p. 285). —(Hone's Every-Day Book, April 16, 
1826.) Hone prefixes the following note: — "C. L., whose 

400 NOTES. 

papers under these initials on 'Captain Starkey/ 'The Ass,' 
and 'Squirrels,' besides other communications ai-e in the first 
volume, drops the following pleasant article 'in an hour of 

"Those Every -Day ^ndi Table Boohs will be a treasure a 
hundred years hence, but they have failed to make Hone's 
fortune." S6 Lamb wrote to Southey in 1830, pleading for the 
struggling editor, for whom kind friends had tnen just opened 
a coffee-house in the city. It was in a like "hour of need" 
that Lamb had originally sent contributions to the pleasant 
columns of the ^ery-Day Book, Hone acknowledges his 
gratitude in a dedicatory letter prefixed to the completed work. 
"Your letter to me," he writes, "within the first two months 
from the commencement of the present work, approving my 
notice of St. Chad's Well, and your afterwards daring to publish 
me your 'friend' mth your proper name annexed, 1 shall 
never for^t. How. can I forget your and Miss Lamb's sympathy 
and kindness when glooms overmastered me, and that yoar 
pen sparkled in tiie book when my mind was in clouds and 
darkness. These ' trifles,' as each of you would call them, are 
benefits scored upon my heart" 

Reminiscence of Sir Jeffrey Dunstan (p. 289). — (Hone's Every- 
Day Bookf June 22, 1826). The following extract from Sir 
Richard Phillips' Morning's Walk to Kew (1817), as quoted in 
Hone's Every-Day Book, forms the best explanation of Lamb's 
letter to the editor: — "Southward of Wandsworth a road 
extends nearly two miles to the village of Lower Tooting, and 
nearly midway are a few houses or hamlets by the side of a 
small common called Garrat, from which the road itself is 
called Garrat Lane. Various encroachments on this common 
led to an association of the neighbours, about three score years 
since, when they chose a president, or mayor, to protect their 
rights ; and the time of their first election being the period of 
a new Parliament, it was agreed that the mayor should be 
rechosen after every general Section. Some facetious members 
of the club gave in a few years local notoriety to this election ; 
and when party spirit ran high in the days of Wilkes and 
Liberty, it was easy to create an appetite for a burlesque 
election among the lower orders of the meteopolis. The publicans 
at Wandsworth, Tooting, Battersea, Clapham and Vauxhall, 
made a purse to give it character ; and Mr. Foote rendered its 
interest universal by calling one of his inimitable farces "The 
Mayor of Garrat." I have indeed been told that Foote, Garrick, 
and Wilkes wrote some of the candidates' addresses, for the 
purpose of instructing the people in the corruptions which 
attend elections to the legislature, and of producing those 

NOTES. 401 

reforms by means of ridicule and shame which are vainly 
expected from solemn appeals of argument and patriotism. 

Not being able to find the members for Garrat in Beatson's 
political inde^, or in any of the court calendars, I am obliged 
to depend on tradition for information in regard to the early 
history of this famous borough. The first mayor of whom I 
could hear was called Sir John Harper. He filled the seat 
during two Parliaments, and was, it appears, a man of wit, for 
on a dead cat being thrown at him on the hustings, and a 
bystander exclaiming that it stunk worse than a fox, Sir John 
vociferated, "That's no wonder, for you see its a, pole-c&t." 

This noted baronet was, in the metropolis, a retailer of brick- 
dust ; and, his Garrat honours being supposed to be a means 
of improving his trade and the condition of his ass, many 
characters in similar occupations were led to aspire to the same 

He was succeeded by Sir Jeffrey Dunstan, who was returned 
for three parliaments, and was the most popular candidate that 
ever appeared on the Garrat hustings. His occupation was 
that of buying old vngs, once an article of trade like that in old 
clothes, but become obsolete since the full-bottomed and fall- 
dressed wigs of both sexes went out of fashion. Sir Jefirey 
usually carried his wig-bag over his shoulder, and, to avoid the 
charge of vagrancy, vociferated, as he passed along the street, 
''old wigs ;" but having a person like Esop, and a countenance 
and manner marked by irresistible humour, he never appeared 
without a train of boys and curious persons whom he entertained 
by his sallies of wit, direwd sayings, and smart repartees ; and 
from whom without begging he collected sufficient to maintain 
his dignity as mayor and knight. He was no respecter of 
persons, and was so severe in his jokes on the corruptions and 
compromisers of power, that the street-jester was prosecuted 
for using what were then called seditious expressions ; and, as 
a caricature on the times which ought never to be forgotten, 
he was in 1793 tried, convicted, and imprisoned ! In conse- 
quence of this affair, and some charges of dishonesty, he lost 
his popularity,.. and at the general election for 1796 was ousted 
by Sir Harry* Dimsdale, muffin-seller, a man as much deformed 
as himself. Sir Jeffrey could not long survive his fall ; but in 
death as in life he proved a satire on the vices of the proud, 
for in 1797 he died — ^like Alexander the Great and many other 
heroes renowned in the historic page — **of suffocation from 
excessive drinking ! " 

Captain Sta/rhey (p. 292). —(Hone's Every -Day Booh, vol. i., 
July 21. ) Under the date of 9th July Hone had published a 
review of the following work — "Memoirs of the Life of Bei\j. 

2 B 

402 NOTES. 

Starkey, late of London, but now an inmate of the Freemen's 
Hospital in Newcastle. Written by himself. With a portrait of 
the author, and a fac-simile of his handwriting. Printed and sold 
by William Hall, Great Market, Newcastle, 1818." The book, 
the reviewer good-naturedly says, is the adyentureless history 
of a man who did no harm in the world, and thought he had a 
right to live, because he was a living being. In the course of 
his hand-to-mouth struggle for existence, Starkey records how, 
at the age of fourteen, he was ' ' bound apprentice to Mr. WiUiiun 
Bird, an eminent writer and teacher or languages and mathe- 
matics, in Fetter Lane, Holborn." It was we mention of this, 
his earliest place of education, that attracted the notice of Lamb, 
and produced the sin^larly interesting contribution to his own 
biography contained m this letter. 

I%e Ass (p. 297). — (Hone*s Every -Day Booh, vol. L, October 
5.) Hone prefaces Lamb's contribution with the following 
note: — "The cantering of Tim Tims" (a correspondent who 
had written on the same subject a few weeks earlier) "startles 
him who told of his * youthful days * at the school wherein poor 
Starkey cyphered part of his little life. 0. L. * getting well, 
but weak' from painful and severe indisposition, is 'off and 
away ' for a short discursion. Better health to him, and good 
be to him all his life. Here he is." 

In Re Squirrels (p. 801). — (Hone's Every -Day Book, voL i., 
October 18.) A correspondent of the QefntXemarC s Magctzine, 
on the seventh of the same month, had communicated his 
experience of these little creatures, and among other letters to 
Hone which it had called forth was this of Lamb's — a trifle, 
but rich in his peculiar humour. 

EstimcUe of De/oe*s Secondary Novels (p. 803). — Contributed 
by Lamb to his friend Walter Wilson's ' 'Memoirs of the Life 
and Times of Daniel Defoe, 1829." The substance of a portion 
of it will be found in a letter of December 1822, on first 
hearing of Wilson's intention to undertake the work. See also 
another letter to Wilson, of November 15, 1829, acknowledg- 
ing a present of the completed work, and saying — "I shiQl 
always feel happy in having my name go down anyhow with 
Defoe's and that of his historiographer. I promise myself, if 
not immortality, yet diutumity of being read in consequence. " 

Eecolledions of a late Boyal Academician (p. 808). — {Engliah^ 
man! 8 Magavlne, September 1831.) George Dawe, bom in 
London, February 8, 1781 ; died, October 15, 1829 ; buried in 
St Paul's Cathedral. His chief work, after early years engaged 
in historiccd-painting, was in portrait-painting. He was engaged 

NOTES. 403 

by the Emperor of Russia to paint his oflScers who had been 
prominent in the wars with Napoleon. For this purpose he 
started for Russia in January 1819, and, during a residence there 
of nine years, is said to have painted four Hundred portraits, 
which decorate a large gallery in the Emperor's Palace, called 
the Hermitage (Redgrave*s Biographical Dictionary of British 
Artists), Dawe made a large fortune, but seems to have lost 
it in imprudent speculations. He was made Associate of the 
Academy in 1809 ("By what law of association," Lamb wrote 
at the time, ** I cannot guess "), and full Academician in 1814. 
This paper was Lamb's first contribution to the Englishman's 
Magazine, when his friend Moxon became publisher of it. It 
was arranged that Lamb should fiimish miscellaneous papers to 
appear under the general heading of Peter* s Net. Lamb writes 
to Moxon in August 1831 on the subject of these Recollec- 
tions : — " The R.A. here memorised was George Dawe, whom I 
knew well, and heard many anecdotes of, from Daniels and 
Westall, at H. Rogers's : to each of them it will be well to send 
a Magazine in my name. It will fly like wild-fire among the 
Royal Academicians and artists. . . . The anecdotes of G. 
D. are substantially true ; what does Elia (or Peter) care for 

Remarkable Correspondent (p. 315). — ^This letter, and the one 
that follows it, explain themselves. They appeared in Hone's 
Every-Day Book under the dates May 1 and August 12. It 
will be remembered that George IV. was bom on August 12, 
1762, but that the anniversary was always kept on the corre- 
sponding Saint's Day, that of St. George, April 23, — the day 
which for the same reason, oddly enough, has always been 
claimed for Shakspeare's birthday. To both these remonstrances 
Hone appended a playful reply. 

Mrs. Oilpin riding to Edmonton (p. 320). — This short paper, 

headed by a rude woodcut of a woman in a poke-bonnet sitting 

on a stile, appeared in Hone's Tdble-Book (1827-28), voL ii. 

The signature and the internal evidence of style would sufli- 

ciently identify the author even if Mr. Frederick Locker did 

not possess the original manuscript in Lamb's unmistakable 

handwriting. Lamb was living at Enfield at the time, and the 

proximity of Edmonton, combined with his own and his sister's 

experiences of the fields in that neighbourhood, fully account for 

the playful romance. It hardly needs to be said that the whole 

I thing is invention. The suggestion that the rude woodcut, 

; obvioualy by one of Hone's stock caricaturists, was "probably 

by the poet's friend, Romney," is a stroke of humour that could 

t belong to no one except Charles Lamb. 

404 NOTES. 

Satwrday Night (p. 322). — ^From The Gem, a keepsake or 
annual for the year 1830. The preceding yolume, for 1829, 
had been edited by Thomas Hood, and in it had appeared a 
short sketch, sicned with Lamb's name, but really contributed 
by Hood himself, as a joke in which Lamb's love of hoaxing 
allowed him to concur. 

The present contribution was written to accompany an engrav- 
ing from David Wilkie's picture, Saturday Night, in which a 
cottager appears washing her child's &ce, and apparently 
rubbing the soap and water well in with her bare hand. An 
old man, presumably the child's grandfather, ia leisurely strop- 
ping a razor in the chimney comer. It is yet one more vivid 
remembrance of Lamb's childish days with Ms grandmother in 

Thoughts on Presents of Game, etc. (p. 325). — From the 
Aihenceum, November 30, 1833. Lamb's friend Chambers — ^who 
had made " many hours happy in the life of Elia " — ^was a fellow- 
clerk with him in the India House ; one of the six who sat in 
the same compartment of the large room in the accountant's 
office. These compartments were called "compounds." Lamb 
once defined his compound, it may be remembered, as a '* col- 
lection of simples. " 

A Popular Fallacy (p. 328). — From the New Monthly Magor- 
zine, June 1826. Originidly intended, no doubt, to form one 
of the series afterwards republished in the Last Essays of Elia, 

Charles Lamb's Autobiography (p. 831). — Appeared first in 
the New Monthly Magaaine for Apnl 1835, with the following 
prefatory note : — 

"We have been favoured, by the kindness of Mr. Upcott, 
with the following sketch, written in one of his manuscript 
coUections by Charles Lamb. It will be read with deep interest 
by all, but with the deepest interest by those who had the 
honour and happiness of knowing the writer. It is so sin- 
gularly characteristic that we can scarcely persuade ourselves 
we do not hear it, as we read, spoken f^om his living lips. 
Slight as it is, it conveys the most exquisite and perfect notion 
of the personal manner and habits of our friend. For the intel- 
lectual rest we lift the veil of its noble modesty, and can even 
here discern them. Mark its humour, crammed into a few 
thinking words ; its pathetic sensibility in the midst of con- 
trast ; its wit, truth, and feeling ; and, above all, its fieincifal 
retreat at the close, under a phantom cloud of death." 

Mr. Upcott was Assistant Librarian of the London Institu- 
tion, and one of the contributors to a Biographical Dictionary 
of Living Authors of Great Britain and Irelamd, 1816. It may 

NOTES. 405 

have been for a proposed new edition of this work that Lamb 
contributed this brief account of himself and estimate of his 
powers in 1827. 

Letter ofBUa to Robert Sovihey^ Esq. (p. ZZZ),^London Maga- 
zine, October 1823.) The concluding paragraphs of this letter, 
under the title of " The Tombs in the Abbey, were republished 
by Lamb in the Last Essays of Elia in 1833. For the origin 
and history of the letter, as a whole, I may refer to my notes 
on that essay. The article by Southey which provoked it 
appeared in tne Quarterly Review for January 1823. 

A Poor Child, cm Exile at Genoa, — ^Leigh Hunt's eldest boy, 
Thornton, at that time with his family in Italy. Lei^ Hunt 
left for Italy in November 1821, and was absent from England 
tiU 1825. 

I a/m sorry to hear thai you are engaged upon a Life of George 
Fox. — This idea, if ever entertained by Southey, was never, 
I believe, carried out His Life of Wesley had appeared in 
1820. It was after reading this work that a Wesleyan minister 
is related to have murmured, as he laid it down, ''Sir, thou 
hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep " — a profounder 
criticism on Southey's capacity for dealing with such subjects 
than any to be found in this essay. 

There is , and , w?iom you never heard of. — ^The 

blanks in the sentences that follow cannot all be supplied, but 
most of the initials belong to names easily to be identified. 
**N., my own and my father's friend," was Kandal Norris, the 
Sub-Treasurer of the Inner Temple; ''T. N. T.," Thomas 
Noon Talfourd, afterwards the judge, and Lamb's executor and 
biographer ; " W. the light . . . Janus of The London" Wain- 
wright, whose affected gaiety and high spirits imposed upon 
Lamb and many others, till convicted of forgery and murder ; 
** modest and amiable C," Henry Francis Gary, the translator 

of Dante ; " Allan C," Allan Cunningham ; " P ^r," Procter, 

better known as Barry Cornwall; **A p," Thomas AU- 

sop, author of the Letters^ Conversatuyns, and Recollections of 
Samuel Taylor Coleridge; ** G n," James Gillman, the sur- 
geon, in whose house at Highgate Coleridge lived and died ; 
**M," Mr. Monkhouse, a cousin of Mrs. Wordsworth's; "H. 
C. R.," Henry Crabb Robinson, in whose delightful diaries 
many an interesting anecdote of Lamb and Coleridge is to be 
found ; " W. A.," wUliam Ayrton, the musical critic, and one 
of the first to make the great German composers popular in this 
country, through that admirable work Tfie MuMcal Library. 
By the courtesy of the present Mr. William Scroop Ayrton, 

406 NOTES. 

I possess copies of several short notes from Lamb to his father, 
chiefly referring to the weekly mbber, in which the Ayrtons 
and tne Barneys took part. Tney are, for the most part, written 
in the wildest spirit or drollery. One may be giyen as a sample, 
especially as it touches a national eyent of Jvlj 1821 : — 

"Deab Aybton — In consequence of the august coronation, 
we propose postponing (I wonder if these words eyer met so 
close before — ^mark the elegancy) our Wednesday this week to 
Friday, when a grand rural fite champStre will be giyen at 
Russell House ; the back-garden to be illuminated in honour of 
the late ceremony. Vivat Regina. Moriatur B — x. C. L." 

The Authors of Rimini and of the TahU Talk, — ^Leigh Hunt 
and William Hazlitt 

I wish you wovZd read Mr. H.^s lines, — The first stanza nms 
thus : — 

'* Sleep breathes at last f]X)m out thee. 
My little patient boy ; 
And balmy rest about thee 

Smooths off the day's annoy : 
I sit me down and think 

Of all thy winning ways, 
Tet almost wish, with sudden shrink, 
That I had less to praise." 

I stood well vnth him for fifteen years, — The precise occasion 
of the breach between Lamb and Hazlitt it might be im- 
possible to discoyer. Hazlitt was moody and sensitiye, and 
unduly impatient of criticism. It is pleasant to know that 
Lamb s manly defence of his old friend in this letter had the 
effect of restoring their old intimacy ; and when he died, seven 
years later. Lamb was among the friends who were round his 

That amiahle spy, Major Andri, — ^For an interesting account 
of the removal of Andre's remains to Westminster Abbey in 
1821, see Dean Stanley's Mefowrials of the Abbey, ''On the 
monument, in bas-relief, by Van Gelder, is to be seen the like- 
ness of Washin^on receiving the flag of truce, and the letter 
either of Andre or of Clinton. Many a citizen of the great 
Western Republic has paused before the sight of the sad story. 
Often has the head of Washington or Anor^ been carried off, 
perhaps by republican or royalist indignation, but more prob- 
ably by the pranks of Westminster boys." 

On the subject of the letter generally, see letters of Lamb 
to Bernard Barton, July 10 and September 17, 1823 : also letter 
to Southey of November 21, in which the old friendly rela- 


NOTES. 407 

tlons are once more established. '*The kindness of your note 
lias melted away the mist which was upon me. That accursed 
Q.B. had vexed me by a gratuitous speaking, of its own know- 
ledge, that the '* Confessions of a Drunkard" was a genuine 
description of the state of the writer. Little things mat are 
not ill-meant may produce much ill. That might have injured 
me alive and dead. I am in a public office, and my life is 
insured. I was prepared for anger, and I thought I saw in a 
few obnoxious words, a hard case of repetition directed against 
me. I wish both Magazine and Review at the bottom of the sea. 
I shall be ashamed to see you, and my sister (though innocent) 
will be stiU more so ; for the folly was done without her know- 
ledge, and has made her uneasy ever since. My guardian 
angel was absent at that time. 

Table-Talk and Fragmenis of Criticism (p. 348). — A portion 
of these were published in the AtheTicBum, January 4, 1834 ; 
the remainder are culled from very various sources. 

Mia to his Corresporuients (p. 361). In Leigh Hunt's Indi- 
cator of January 31, 1821, appeared the paragraph referred to 
by Lamb. It ran as follows : — 

" The Works of Cha/rles Lavnb, — "We reprint in our present 
number a criticism in the Examiiier on the works of this 
author. He is not so much known as he is admired ; but if 
to be admired, and more, by those who are better known have 
anything of the old laudatory desideratum in it, we know no 
man who possesses a more enviable share of praise. The truth 
is that Mr. Lamb in general has performed his services to the 
literaiy world so anonymously, and in his most trivial subjects 
has such a delicate and extreme sense of all that is human, that 
common readers have not been aware of half his merits, nor 
great numbers of his existence. When his writings were 
collected by the bookseller (in 1818), people of taste were 
asking who this Mr. Charles Lamb was that had written so 
weU. They were answered. The man who set the critics right 
about the old English dramatists, and whom some of them 
showed at once their ingratitude and their false pretensions by 
abusing. Besides the work here alluded to, Mr. Lamb is the 
author of an interesting prose abridgment of the Odyssey, under 
the title of the Adventures of Ulysses, and has helped his sister 
in other little works for children (equally fit for those * of a 
larger growth*), especially one callea Mrs. Leicester's School, 
We believe we are taking no greater liberty with him than our 
motives wiU warrant when we add that he sometimes n^rites in 
the London Magazine under the signature of Mia.** 

The second of these replies to correspondents arose out of 
the former. Very curious and pathetic is the reference to 

408 NOTES. 

his alleged birthplace in Princes Street, Gayendish Square. 
Princes Street, Leicester Square, is where Mr. Bartram Uved, 

who married Lamb's old love, ^ce W . The whole paper 

is a series of mystifications. Calne in Wiltshire was not the 
birthplace of Coleridge, whose personality Lamb adopted in 
the Essay on Christ's Hospital ; 'but Coleridge did actually 
liye at Calne for a time, in later years. 

On the DecUh of Coleridge (p. 865). — This sinffolarly toaching 
confidence was first communicated to the wond by Mr. Jolm 
Forster, in a paper on Lamb contributed after his death to the 
New MoTdhly magazine in 1835. It was thus introduced :— 
*'Lamb never fairly recovered the death of Coleridge. He 
thought of little else (his sister was but another portion of him- 
self) until his own great spirit joined his friend's. He had a habit 
of venting his melancholy in a sort of mirth. He would with 
nothing graver than a pun ' cleanse his bosom of the periloas 
stuff that weighed ' upon it. In a jest or a few light phrases 
he would lay open the recesses of his heart. So in respect of 
the death of Coleridge. Some old Mends of his saw hmi two 
or three weeks ago, and remarked the constant turning and 
reference of his mind. He interrupted himself and them 
almost every instant with some play of affected wonder or 
humorous melancholy on the words — * Coleridge is dead, * Noth- 
ing could divert him from that, for the thought of it never 
left him. About the same time we had written to him to re- 
quest a few lines for the literary album of a gentleman who 
entertained a fitting admiration of his genius. It was the last 
request we were to make, and the last kindness we were to receive. 

He wrote in Mr. *s volume, and wrote of Coleridge. This, 

we believe, was the last production of his pen. A strange and 
not unenviable chance, which saw him at the end of his literary 
pilgrimage, as he had been at the beginning, in that immortal 
company. We are indebted, with the reader, to the kind- 
ness of our friend for permission to print the whole of what 
was written. It would be impertinence to offer a remark on 
it. Once read, its noble and affectionate tenderness will be 
remembered for ever." 

Prologue to Coleridge's Remorse (p. 367). — Coleridge's tragedy 
of Osorio, originally written in 1797, was brought out in a 
revised sh^e, and under the name of Remorse, at Drury Lane 
in 1813. It had a run of twenty nights. 

Prologue to Antonio (p. 869). — Godwin's play was produced 
on December 13, 1800, and hopelessly failed. See letter of 
Lamb to Manning, December 16, 1800. See also Mr. Ee^n 
Paul's Life of Godwin for a full account of Lamb's untiring 

NOTES. 409 

efforts in his Mend's behalf. The footnotes to the prologue 
are, of course, Lamb's own, appended in a letter to Manning of 
December 13. 

Prologue to Faulkener (p. 371). — The tragedy was played at 
Drury Lane, December 16, 1807. The subject of the play was 
tfJien from an incident in Defoe's Moxarui, See Kegan Paul's 
Life of Godwin^ ii. 162. 

Epilogue to the Wife (p. 372). — Sheridan Knowles acknow- 
ledges Lamb's contribution to his drama in the preface to the 
published edition in 1833. The Epilogue was spoken by Miss 
Ellen Tree, who played the heroine. 

To Clara N. (p. S7S).--(AthenoBum, July 26, 1834.) Clara 
Novello, the fourth daughter of Lamb's old and valued friend, 
Vincent Novello. When Lamb wrote this complimentary 
tribute, she was only sixteen years of age. She had made her 
first appearance in public the year before, and was already 
singing (in this year, 1834) at both the Philharmonic and the 
Ancient Concerts. Lamb had probably heard her chiefly at her 
father's house. Clara NoveUo, afterwards the Countess Gigliucci, 
happily still lives, to remember with pride her. enthusiastic 
though unmusical admirer. 

To my Friend, the Indicator (p. 374). — (Leigh Hunt, who 
brought out the periodical in question in 1819. ) It took its 
name from a fanciful application of the following passa^ from 
a work on Natural History : — * * There is a bird in the interior 
of Africa whose habits would rather seem to belong to the 
interior of Fairy-land, but they have been well authenticated. 
It indicates to honey-hunters where the nests of wild bees are 
to be found. It calls them with a cheerful cry which they 
answer ; and, on finding itself recognised, flies and hovers 
over a hollow tree containing the honey. "While they are 
occupied in collecting it, the bird goes to a little distance, 
where he observes all that passes ; and the hunters, when they 
have helped themselves, take care to leave him his portion of 
the food. This is the Cuculus Indicator of Linnseus, otherwise 
called the Moroc, Bee Cuckoo, or Honey Bird." 

Saint Crispin to Mr. Gifford (p. 374). — Gifford, the Editor of 
the Quarterly, was, as is well known, in early life apprenticed 
to a shoemaker. Lamb had a special grudge against him for 
mangling his review of Wordsworth's Excursion, See note on 
Lamb's review in the present volume. 

In Taibulam Eximii (p. 376). — On Haydon's Picture, the 
Entry of Christ into Jerustedem. I have corrected the text of 

410 NOTES. 

the Latiii from the copy given in Haydon's Memoirs, yoI. ii. p. 
13. As Tom Taylor remarks, this specimen of LamVs Latinity 
is more monkish than classicaL He probably meant it to be 
so. Haydon's picture was exhibited by him in 1820. See his 
Memoirs, i 399. 

To Sir James Mackintosh (p. 377). — ^The nnfortunate epigram 
that brought about the final collapse of the Albion. See Elia 
Essay, • ' Newspapers thirty-five years ago. *' The epigrams that 
follow will not strike the reader as having any great merit, or 
reason to exist. They appeared for the most part in the 
Examvner, where any stick did well enough with wnich to beat 
the Prince Regent. He tells Bernard Barton, in 1829, "Stroll- 
ing to Waltham Cross the other day, I hit off these lines. 
It IS one of the crosses which Edward I. caused to be built for 
his wife at every town where her corpse rested, between North- 
amptonshire and London. " The epigram, as given in the letter, 
exhibits some considerable variations. 

One Dip (p. 380). — Archdeacon Hessey has lately made public, 
for the first time, the very curious history of this little fable. 
It was one of two epigrams written by Lamb for Archdeacon 
Hessey and his brother, the late Rev. Francis Hessey, when 
schoolboys at Merchant Taylors. The subject for the Latin 
epigram was *'Suum Cuique," and the epigram may be found 
in my notes to the Essay '* On the Inconveniences resulting 
from being hanged*' {Latnh's Poerns, Plays, and Miscellaneous 
Essays, jp. 403). The subject proposed for the English epigram 
was, ** Brevis esse laboro," and, as Archdeacon Hessey remarks, 
'Hhe adventure recorded might well have happened to Lamb 
himself'" It should be added that the production of these 
epigrams being of regular and frequent recurrence, the boys 
were allowed and almost expected to obtain help from their 
friends. In previous editions of Lamb's works, the epigram 

will be found, with the signature ** H ^y," but up to the date 

of Archdeacon Hessey's interesting paper in the Taylorian, 
it had never been explained. "I have now before me," the 
Archdeacon writes, ** the copies of them as they were shown up 
to the head-master, with the names of J. A. Hessey and F. 
Hessey attached to them respectively." See letter of Lamb to 
Southey, of May 10, 1830. 

Sa;tan in Search of a Wife (p. 381). — Originally published 
in a thin volume, with illustrations, by Moxon in 1831. It 
seems to have been the combined product of reading Moore's 
Lows of the Angels and Coleridge and Southey's DemVs Walk, 
with the crop of imitations to which the latter poem gave rise. 
The choosing the daughter of a tailor, as the lady who won 

NOTES. 411 

Satan's young affections^ is due solely to the grim circumstance 
that the cavity beneath a tailor's shop-board, into which he 
lets fall the portions of cloth which form Ms '* cabbage/' is 
called in the strange slang of the profession, his *'Hell." The 
verses are indeed but little worthy of their author ; but they 
gave occasion for one of his many and familiar acts of generosity, 
and it is pleasant to take leave of him with the record of it. 
Moxon hkd been forced to abandon the publication of his 
Englishman* 8 Magazine for want of support Lamb had written 
for it, and helped it in all ways he coiQd, biit in vain ; and he 
writes to his friend, October 24, 1831, commending his prudence 
in not continuing the experiment longer. ^ ' To drop metaphors, 
I am sure you have done wisely. The very spirit of your 
epistle speaks that you have a weight off your mind. I have 

one on mine — ^the cash in hand, which, as less truly 

says, burns in my pocket. I feel queer at returning it (who 
does not ?) — you feel awkward at retaking it (who ought not ?) 
— ^is there no middle way of adjusting this fine embarrassment ? 
I think I have hit upon a medium to skin the sore place over, 
if not quite to heal it. You hinted that there might be some- 
thing under £10 by and by, accruing to me — DeviVs money " 
(the allusion is to the squib now before us), ** (you are sanguine, 
say £7 : 10s) ; that I entirely renounce, and abjure all future 
interest in ; I insist upon it, and ' by him I will not name ' 
I won't touch a penny of it. That will split your loss one half, 
and leave me conscientious possessor of what I hold. Less than 
your assent to this, no proposal will 1 accept ot" 


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the Essays." — TTie AtheruBum, 

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